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this is msnbc's continuing coverage of the convention in charlotte, north carolina. being the spouse of a politician is not an easy thing. it is a whole other job entirely to be first lady of the united states. it is a job that brings with it a lot of speaking responsibilities and oh, my god, could you see that tonight. first lady tonight, a long, personal, emotionally, frankly
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excellent speech from michelle obama. chris matthews? >> certainly made the connection, don't you think? i mean, so much of tonight was interactive. it was between her and that audience in the room. i thought the camera work was so important watching this on television. you saw on the faces of men and women, black and white, all different backgrounds, the connection. she was with people. the emotional connection, telling the story of her love affair with her husband. with her life of getting ahead. but there was one big difference than four years ago which just came through in the earlier speeches tonight. it was hope and change, yes, hope and change but not hope and change imaginally overnight. but hope through work and patience and time and effort and then change. i think it was a much more mature look at their own lives as they got there. i'll tell you, i assume most americans watching tonight who have been lucky in this country, have gotten close to the american dream, have done it the
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way they did it. with student loans. with good parents who made them study. of being parents who make their kids study. spending hours with kids answering their questions. that is the normal route and i think that was what was so wonderful about her speech. it was so accessible to everybody watching. >> let me bring in lawrence o'donnell who was in the room, in the hall. we could tell by the magic of satellite you could tell by good camera work. what was it like? >> the camera doesn't lie. that was what was raepg happening. there is no question who the best speech maker in the history of the first ladyship is. that is michelle obama. we have to remember that most first ladies until the television age never gave a speech. among those who have, there has never been a speaker who could deliver what we just saw.
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it was not a terribly partisan speech. it did not get into nitty gritty divisive politics, the details in politics. she did make some very simple statements about what her husband has delivered in office. what you had in the room was a real powerful connection. it was tangible. it is real. and it is very hard to judge this from where i'm standing but it felt like she was delivering it onscreen also. it was very difficult to be introducing barack obama but it did have that element of introduction. framed in terms of reminder. one of the most striking passages was when she went into a refrain about why she loves barack obama. that is a difficult piece of writing to, for a wife to say publicly. this is why i love this man. it is difficult to make it
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convincing in a context, in an arena like this. it was, i think, the most beautiful section of the speech and probably for people who want to get a feel for what it is like to be married to the president, it was probably the most effective part of that speech. >> i think that's right. >> i think it was interesting to see the parallel construction in some of those very emotional and personal parts you're about, with what ann romney tried to accomplish in her speech, about the reasons she loves her husband and the ways that she sees her husband, her personal and private and you might not see but are a window. it is an insurance from a very close vantage point. and i think both these speeches by the wives of the candidates tried to go there in the same way. this will invite comparisons with the ann romney speech. will it not? >> it will. what you have in this speech is anecdote.
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she is talking about their experience with student loans. not their great grandfather's or their grandfather's but their own. how they had to manage their way through that. and there is no strain in it. there's something. when michelle obama tells these stories, there is absolutely no sense of reaching like oh, she wants to use this. this little factoid for a political score. it is all part of the natural flow of the real story of how she came to be standing on that stage, speaking on behalf of her husband tonight. >> let me bring in the reverend al sharpton. you spoke as a presidential candidate and in listening to this speech, obviously, everybody watching this speech will have positive feelings about michelle obama. her likability is not on the ballot. what did she accomplish with this speech? how good was it? >> i think that she really connected with the american
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people in a way you know she is not reading lines with her. she is telling her real human story. and i think that what was most effective is how she talked about how they relate to their daughters. because people don't put their kids up for a political auction. when she started talking about how they relate and how they're at the dinner table and answer the questions, that's what brings you beyond politics. i've known president obama and mrs. obama since he was in the senate. spent time with him. brought my daughters around. she has this unusual way to connection. and she really connected tonight. i give all due respect to romney. i don't think we should attack people's spouses. but i think there is a connection that is unusual in michelle obama. >> the speech was particularly
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well crafted. the president has incredibly high favorability ratings personally. and michelle obama said there is no distance 22 the two. the personal is political. if youlike barack obama but feel eh, the entire at this of the speech made an explicit argument that the things that are the greatest strengths should be the controlling determining factor in casting your vote. >> from a republican perspective, was that what she was trying to do? >> i think it was a brilliantly written speech and brilliantly delivered. i think if you look at the journey of michelle obama, it is unbelievable. she stands on the stage delivering an incredible speech. one of the most popular people in the country. i think that the two big
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speeches tonight have given the democrats a really good opening night. and the argument is just crystal clear to see, to see how it will build over the course of the week. what was delivered was the notion that we get it. we understand the pessimism in the country. we understand the pain you're in because of the economy. we get it. we understand it. we know it. we feel it and they don't. and i think tomorrow you'll see that argument begin to advance. of course, with former president clinton, with the vice president, and then building to the president's speech thursday night. i think the democrats on the back of the brilliant key note speech and then on the first lady's speech have had a very regood opening night. >> in the end, a quote. for barack, these issues are personal. he knows the american dream because he's lived it and he wants everyone in this country to have that same opportunity no matter who we are or where we're from or what we look like or who we love. >> it has been a night of testimony for the democrats. one speech after another. personal experiences. very emotional.
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she had the crowd right in the palm of her hand. and i think that we may have forgotten how good michelle obama is. tonight we were reintroduced to a star. someone who has a real impact. the impact that she has had is on her family. and she is still the same first lady that she was. she talked about barack. she has it all in perspective. a lot of soul searching tonight by the democrats. explaining to the country, who we are, what we're about. what we believe in. and we're not going to stop. that's what i've taken from that. i mean, when she said that being president doesn't change who you are, it reveals who you are, i don't know if there was a better line in the speech. >> and she demonstrated -- don't forget, this is the couple that brought her mother to live in the white house. i mean, they are telling a narrative that they live, the mother you saw in the video, lives with them in the white house, takes care of the children. so it's not something that's just made for video.
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that's how they live. >> there are elements of the right, particularly of the far right media that have been increasingly comfortable with attacking michelle obama and increasingly personal terms over the course of this presidency. i think there's going to be backlash against that, or at least they will feel innately that they will have to pull back, if it was as much of a blockbuster as we all think it was going to be. for reality on that, i want to go to chuck todd. he joins us from the convention floor. chuck can be hard bitten on these things, comparing this reaction with anything that you saw, for example, last week in tampa. >> let's compare, first, the 10:00 hours. night one of the republicans, night one of the democrats. at the time night one of the republicans, you think that was a pretty good night. ann romney was good. then you walk away going, why did she not end the night? why did chris christie end the night? compare how well they corey ohio they choreographed the night.
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you start with introducing the 10:00 hour. you start with an introduction to someone that you may not know, julian castro and then you end the way they ended tonight. michelle obama owned this convention, the delegates. i've been on the floor -- in the way that no speaker that has owned the floor of the convention in tampa. you could just -- you heard the -- you could watch emotional connections from the delegates to the first lady. it was very powerful to watch and it's got to be something that democrats have to feel good about just the -- how much passion there is for the president. here, the passion on the floor when you saw it was never for mitt romney. it was always against the president. and it's just -- it is just one of those striking differences, at least on this first night that i've taken away being here, seeing how everybody here is listening to all of the speeches, even the ones at 8:00
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and 7:00 and at 8:30 versus tampa where they really only tune in at 10:00. >> chuck, let me ask you something about chris hayes said about the structure, be that this is an effort to take inarguably the president's strong suit and the first lady shares in it, which is likeability, personal attractiveness, for lack of a better term, and to apply that asset to the liability of how he is seen to be handling the economy, the first lady trying to bridge that asset into that liability by saying, if you like him as a person you should know the things that you like about him as a person are what he is applying to the economy. do you think that's what she was trying to do and is that smart? >> well, i do. all presidential elections are values elections. in this case, if the president wins in this tough economy, it's going to be because he won the economic values argument and it seems -- there's one polling way to measure this, rachel. we show it. yes, mitt romney beats the president on who has better
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economic ideas but then you ask that question, who will be more likely to look out for the middle class? well, that's what michelle obama was testifying to. hey, look at -- let me tell you how he was brought up, let me tell you how i was brought up. we were the middle class. we had debt. we understood what that was. she was testifying to that. and he's already winning on that score and they want to exploit that cap and expand it more. it plays into the weakness they think of mitt romney personally and let's be crass about this and look at the battleground states. it plays in ohio. it plays in wisconsin. it plays in florida. a lot of struggling middle class families in those three states in particular. >> chuck, thank you. i want to go back to chris matthews. he is also in charlotte. chris, we had a moment, a brief pause in the program between the keynote speech julian castro and the first lady's speech, and in that brief moment you described the julian castro speech as one of the greatest speeches you've
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ever heard. i've got to ask you why you said that, what it was about that speech that you liked so much and what do you think it did tonight? >> i think it's very important for people like you and i whose families came from europe ultimately to begin to understand families that came from latin america have a very similar immigrant experience. latinos and latinas are brought up to being self-reliant to, make it in this new country, to get anything but a public education but they don't expect to be somehow victims of the society or somehow needy people. they help very much to share fully in the opportunities of this country, to become ultimately perhaps a bit upper middle class, to get to the top of their ambitions and i think that's really important. i've never heard it put so well, the immigrant experience of someone that came from the south as well as from the west or asia even. i think that was really important and to say that the latino, the guys like him, the women like him, their dreams are
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not just parallel with other people, they are fresh. they are hopeful right now to get a lot of what our families got generations ago. it's a very alive statement about the american dream. it has nothing to do with wanting to have dependency on government, welfare as a long term proposition. i think it really challenged the middle. i think it was hopeful towards the middle. i think the vow was aiming at the base. he was aiming at the other third of the latinos holding out for the republican side. >> i want to point out that the white house sent out a photo of president obama watching the first lady's speech in the white house. i guess they are in the white house treaty room, apparently. i wouldn't recognize the couch. i don't know. obviously the president there watching the first lady's speech along with their daughters malia and sasha. in terms of the julian castro speech, it would be wrong to not note the parallel in structure describing the immigrant
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experience and so many that we heard at the democratic convention. so many people talking about having come from hard circumstances, even in their own lives, their parents' lives or grandparents' lives was a story we've heard over and over again. we've been talking about this, the theme of social mobility being the american dream and wanting the american dream to still speak to us today. the difference, we got those same parallel personal stories in both conventions. the difference is tonight we got policy discussion about how america should treat current immigrants, which we got none of last week. talking about immigration last week as if immigration is something that used to be awesome for immigrants that came here a long time ago but for now implicitly, you've got to go. >> i think all the speeches tonight have touched, intertwined personal experience with policies and what the democrats support.
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whether it be food stamps, speaking about responsibility, it's not all about you, it's about the country. it's kind of a country first presentation to america. but they did a good job of, you know, intertwining where they stand on policy with life experiences. and i think that's so relatable. this has been such a night of relateability. even if you're not a democrat, if you're an independent and there's not a whole lot of people who haven't made up their mind yet, the window of opportunity to grab those people that are undecided. this has been an impressive night. >> the other thing -- to return to the theme of the michelle obama speech was remarkable, she didn't mention mitt romney once but she crushed him with everything that was in the speech because everything was the unsaid contrast to mitt romney. >> i've walked in your shoes. >> exactly. i understand you. we've been there. and i like this, because we built this and the fact that it was the recurring theme, the
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we learned about gratitude from so many people like the teachers who inspired us to the janitors who kept our school clean, we were taught to value everyone's contribution, treat everyone with respect, which is people share and was a very subtle and appropriate reply to this hyperindividualism. it was the explicit theme of the republican convention. >> you're exactly right. it responds to, you know, you didn't build this by yourself. it was a very subtle but powerful way to deal with them, we built this on our own. she's talking about the ordinary average people that did. very effective. i think when she went as her husband has done, with this appeal that is not about party but what we are as american people. i even saw steve schmidt clapping under the table. >> the julian castro speech was a great speech. it reminded me a lot of schwarzenegger's speech in the 2004 republican convention.
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what a skill it is to have a smile on your face and to be able to lacerate your opponent very, very effectively tonight. but to chris' point, it reminds me of george bush and the 2000 campaign where he talked about people who had indeed come to the country illegally but he framed it as not an act of criminality but an act of love, crossing this barren desert through formidable conditions to get a better life for your family and you see in the republican party that the face that's put forward to latino community in this country is so often harsh, anti-immigrant, it's not the face of the marco rubios who actually do very well getting elected in western states. you saw tonight the face of the future. the republican party as a national party will have great difficulty competing if it can't
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appeal to the latino community in this country because one day you're going to see a race in this country for president between maybe a castro and a rubio. >> that's exactly right. >> it's coming. >> in the republican party right now, you're right, the george bush wing on immigration issues lost and the people who won are the jan brewers and joe arpaios and mitt romneys. they are in politics right now which jeb bush keeps speaking eloquently about but those folks are losing. i want to go to howard fineman who has been on the convention floor tonight. he's talking to people not just about their reaction but what democrats think the kind of work is they need to get done out of this convention to help them out for november. howard? >> yeah, rachel. michelle obama came out tonight to the music of "signed, sealed, and delivered." obviously it's not signed, sealed and delivered.
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and my interpretation of her speech and julian castro's speech is in many ways they are speaking to the obama supporters and trying to reignite the enthusiasm those people showed four years ago. they were reintroducing barack obama not to the entire country, necessarily. but to the volunteers and to the people who made it happen four years ago. i was talking to mark warner, the senator from virginia who had been governor. he was traveling around the state on labor day when they have traditional rallies in the state. four years ago, he said to me on the floor tonight, four years ago there were barack obama signs everywhere and the people who put up the signs, the roadside signs, the lawn signs paid for the signs themselves. this time around there were no signs to be seen in any of those rural, middle, and southern virginia places. so the purpose of tonight from castro and from the first lady was to speak to those people and plead with those people. i thought towards the end of the speech michelle obama was saying, look, you know what the vision is. i'm reminding you of what the
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vision of barack obama and the democratic party is but we need you to get out there and work. we need you to be enthusiastic. and that's the important thing for the latino vote, the women's vote, and interestingly enough in virginia, the veterans' vote because they think they have a got chance there. if barack obama cannot ignite those people in northern virginia, he's going to lose virginia. if he loses virginia, he could well lose the election. that's the sort of on the ground reality. mark warner was concerned and hopes that things will develop over the next few weeks and i've got to say that speech by michelle tonight, i thought especially to remind people of what they liked about barack obama to begin with is important in ending what really still is an enthusiasm gap. you hear an undertone here despite the cheers of concern about the ground game. >> it's an important reminder of why we're hearing so many of these speeches, even the lighthearted ones turn to, this is why we have to work, this is why we have to volunteer and turn it into something.
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>> exactly. >> howard, thank you. one thing that we have not aired tonight which we have not talked about is the speech that brought the house down, the reaction to this was a little bit over the top even. ohio governor ted strickland minced no words about mitt romney. we'll have some clips coming up. it was the opposite speech to michelle obama but brought the house down in a partisan way. we've got that ahead. and we have ezra klein. this is msnbc's live coverage of the democratic convention. stay with us. i have seen firsthand that being president doesn't change who you are. no, it reveals who you are. i have seen how the issues are always the hard ones. no amount of data or numbers will get you to the right answer. hey. hey eddie.
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hello, everyone. calling her husband the man we can trust, first lady michelle obama on night one. mrs. obama offered both personal reflections and at times got political, saying the president brought the economy back from the brink of collapse. meanwhile, republican nominee mitt romney and the rnc raised at least $100 million last month. this according to early figures
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obtained by the associated press. official fundraising totals are expected next week. encouraging news from detroit. gm, ford and chrysler all record better than expected sales gains in august. and the president said gas prices rose nearly 7 cents after refineries shut down due to isaac. the price for unleaded was $3.84. the highest since mid-april. and facebook shares hit a new all time low of $17.58 earlier. it is off more than 50% since its may ipo at $38 a share. coverage of the dnc will return after this break. ♪ i can do anything today ♪ i can go anywhere ♪ i can go anywhere today ♪ la la la la la la la [ male announcer ] dow solutions help millions of people by helping to make gluten free bread that doesn't taste gluten free. together, the elements of science and the human element can solve anything.
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america will prevail. it begins with re-electing barack obama. it begins with you. it begins now. >> welcome back to msnbc's live coverage of the democratic national convention. andrea mitchell has chuck schumer with her. >> hello. >> indeed i do. hello, rachel. >> what did you think? >> she knocked it out of the park. it was just incredible.
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i've heard a lot of these. i was choked up. it was a great speech. >> what was different about this? because we've heard speeches that are biographical and she certainly communicated the value system of her husband but there was a connection to policy. >> exactly. the whole job of this convention is to show the average middle class person that we're going to do more for them than the other side. she did that. because it wasn't just, i love my husband and he's a great guy and great father. mrs. romney did that, too. but she tied it to what average people go through. she talked about the student loans that they had when they got out of school. the romneys won't know what a student loan was if it stared them in the face. she tied about their experience in the heard up both she and barack climbed. the romney speech was sort of way up there and it was nice but it wasn't close to this. so if this is a metaphor, the rest of the convention, i'm
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excited because i think it will mean that we are connecting to average folks and feel their pain and their anguish and, most of all, their worry about the future and can answer those worries much better than the other side. >> there's no question that she connected in the hall. i mean, it was an amazing experience because people were so fired up, passionately fired up. people had tears in their eyes. do you think that it's communicated out to the rest of america? >> you know, some speeches are good in the hall and not good elsewhere but this was so powerful. my experience tells me it just pierced right through. she had those digs when she talked about when you make it you don't slam the door on people trying to make it. that had direct implications but people got what it did and i'll tell you something else, some people say, well, maybe she's angry. maybe she's upset.
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she was a powerful person and a strong person but a nice, caring person. there were tears in her eyes. >> reporter: she said that her best role, most important role is mom in chief. that lines up for thursday. >> let me tell you, it's like one, two, three, like in new york we would say, ruth, gehrig, dimaggio. if the next two speeches are as good as i think they'll be, and hers, i didn't have any idea it would be as strong as this, it's going to be a very good convention for us. >> reporter: as they would say in new york, murderous row. >> let's hope so. >> reporter: thanks so much. rachel, back to you. >> andrea, thank you very much. chris matthews is there as well. he's with my friend michael steele. chris? >> we're back. that's all for you, michael. as an outside observer, i want you to rate the three big speeches that i thought were the big speeches, julian castro from the mayor of san antonio and, of course, the first lady. do you want to do an ascending order of how you liked them?
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>> i do. i liked castro's speech. from the beginning, it kind of set the tone. i got this sense, i'll see you a rubio and i'll raise you a castro between two parties. but i think what he had to do was work it very well. deval patrick is a diamond in the rough. a lot of folks haven't paid attention to him. i think he's someone to look at down the road even though his plans are to step out when he's done as governor, he can always come back in. but i thought the first lady gave a hell of a speech. i thought she laid down and i know -- i know, you know, i'm supposed to be all partisan but i'm an american and tonight that was a very good speech by the first lady setting down the marker for her husband's administration and i disagree all day long with her husband's
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policies and administration but you've got to give props where props are due. the first lady did a great job laying out the argument for -- in personal terms. there were a lot of similarities between her and ann romney in terms of how they talked about their family life, how they wrapped around what they are doing with their husbands. i thought it was very well done. >> four more years! four more years! >> michael, my friend, how would you rate the dress? >> stunning. stunning. >> she came out and the first thing i thought was the wow word. the way she presented herself, the way she talked about her love for her husband. i don't think we've heard that from her before. >> no. and if you go back, chris, and you look at the speech in 2008 and you compare it to now, you can see how this first lady has grown in the office of first lady, how her experience with the american people and in the white house sort of culminated in that speech and i thought the speech was very powerful. it's like, we have not changed.
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you know, in the sense that we're still barack and michelle. i think that's a very powerful message and i thought howard fineman was dead on point, too. the theme in all of the speeches was to the base of the democratic party, don't forget you've got to work. we've got to work this. because they do suffer enthusiasm gap. republicans are fired up and ready to go this fall and this speech is to kickstart that. >> michael steele, back to you, rachel. >> in thinking about the power of the first lady's speech, journalistic observers tonight, a couple things i want to point out, in terms of the nonpartisan nature of the speech. talking about her family and the president's family, they didn't begrudge anyone's success or care that anyone had much more than they did. in fact, admired it, which is a rebut tell to the republican saying that you're just resentful of mitt romney's success. and also she said, for barack obama there is no such thing as us or them. he doesn't care if you're a republican or democrat or none of them.
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an aggressively nonpartisan tone which has given it the up in a partisan appeal in contrast, a speech that brought down the house tonight in charlotte in front of the democratic audience but had a totally different tone in terms of being harshly, harshly critical of mitt romney and of the republicans. the speech was given by former ohio governor, ted strickland, boosting what president obama has done for his home state of ohio, strickland's home state of ohio but also really, really attacking mitt romney. here's some of what he had to say and how the crowd responded. >> the auto industry supports one out of every eight jobs in ohio and it's alive and growing in america again. late last year, chrysler announced they were hiring 1100 new auto workers in toledo. all over america, all over ohio,
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men and women are going back to work with the pride of building something stamped "made in america." that's what happens when you have a president who stands up for average working people. barack obama has stood up for us and now by god we will stand up for him. now, mitt romney, he lives by a different code. to him, american workers are just numbers on a spreadsheet. if he had had his way, devastation would have cascaded from michigan to ohio and across the nation. if mitt was santa claus, he would fire the reindeer and outsource the elves. mitt has so little economic
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patriotism that even his money needs a passport. it's summers on the beaches of the cayman islands and winter on the slopes of the swiss alps. barack obama is betting on the american worker. mitt romney is betting on a bermuda shell corporation. barack obama is saving the american auto industry. mitt romney saved on his taxes. >> i loved the part where he got to outsourcing the elves. he said it was supposed to be a hard hitting thing but he said the word elf and he cracked me up. chuck todd spoke with ted strickland right after the speech. >> i'm here with former ohio governor ted strickland. tough speech on romney. any hesitance about getting so
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tough? >> no. none whatsoever. i think mitt romney and his campaign are being terribly dishonest. they're accusing the president of getting the work requirement out of welfare. he knows it's not true and yet he continues to spend a lot of money spreading that lie, quite frankly, it is a lie. >> you think the welfare ad is specifically targeting those working white class workers that we all know about in ohio? >> i think it's not so subtle racism. they don't want to come out and say certain things. in my judgment -- i'm speaking for myself, not for the obama administration, but i've seen this playbook before where they try to drive wedges between people. the problem with this effort, though, chuck, is it's a lie and the media has looked at this carefully and they've said it's a lie and the romney campaign continues to do it.
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and i -- >> why do you think they are? >> i think they are trying to divide people and i think they are trying to create divisions. and that's just reprehensible, in my judgment. so i think when something like that happens, it ought to be called for what it is. so i don't think i was nearly as tough on the romney campaign tonight as perhaps i could have been. >> ohio seems to be a state that is moving the president's direction. you talked to the romney campaign. what is on the ground that has happened where a year ago i'm sure you heard from barack obama folks who said we ought to do this without ohio. what has it done? >> mitt romney has known he's wanted to be president for a long time and yet he put his money in the cayman islands. he opened up a swiss bank account. >> you think those issues have pushed ohio -- >> those kinds of issues because they say something about judgment and i think they say something about character, quite frankly. >> ted strickland speaking with chuck todd just after his speech
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tonight, chuck essentially asking him, are you sure you wanted to punch mitt romney that hard and ted strictland saying, no, hold on, i forgot my brass knuckles. here, let me do it again. wow. tonight was also the night that the democrats took back the messaging on health reform. that could have political implications because the republicans are planning on running on it. i mean, running against it. you're watching msnbc's live coverage of the democratic convention. we're back right after this. >> all of the republicans are saying if we shrink government, cut taxes, all will be well. this country was built by working people. the economy needs manufacturing. machines, tools, people making stuff. companies have to invest in making things. infrastructure, construction, production. we need it now more than ever. chevron's putting more than $8 billion dollars
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i shed tears and i can breathe easier knowing we have that net below us to catch us if we fall or if, god forbid, zoey needs a heart transplant. obama care provides my family security and relief. >> being a woman is no longer a pre-existing condition. >> our kids should be able to see a doctor when they are sick and no one in this country should ever go broke because of
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an accident or an illness. >> the democrats did not give their convention night's overt themes the way the republicans did but if there was an unofficial at least policy theme for what we heard tonight, it could be, we democrats passed health reform and we're proud of it. earlier this evening, ezra klein pointed out the democrats themselves have started calling obama care and republicans call it a dig but democrats are happily calling it that, too. ezra? >> yeah. i thought that was actually the big news going forward. michelle obama's speech and if you're looking for what is going to change the way the campaign is run from here on out, i think tonight will be seen as the night that the democrats took back obama care or at least developed a strategy to run on it. in 2010 they were afraid of it and it didn't poll that well for
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them. they have been fairly quiet about it but since over and over again tonight they developed a pretty clear way of talking about it and in particular the speech by stacy lihn was dramatic and i would say going forward in november you're going to see a fair number of ads going up in swing states where you have space see lihn if not herself saying, my child has a pre-existing condition. my child could be blowing through a lifetime cap. if mitt romney is elected, i don't know what i will do. >> ezra, i want to make this point and pretend i'm not stealing it from you. it's hard to get bills passed. all they have to do is use budget reconciliation if they get the senate to kill the subsidies. it's really important people understand this. killing obama care is much
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easier than getting over the filibuster threshold in the senate. if you kill the subsidies that are what creates the expanded coverage, you kill the bill. the rest of it can't stand. all they need are 50 plus one. a divided senate with paul ryan casting the deciding vote. believe you me they will do it. it is a way to play to their base. they've now promised everyone they'll do it, that is really in the most clear way, what is at stake from a policy perspective. the signature legislative achievement of the president and the democratic party and the senator left coalition is on the table if mitt romney is elected. it's hard to imagine him being elected without a senate. >> that's why it's so important you have senators running in difficult states like heidi, for example, who's running, she's in a difficult to win spot, and running on health reform. she's saying, you know what, part of the reason i'm running is not because i'm afraid of this, or going along with the republican line, i'm going to
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protect it. >> i bet there's some folks out there watching tonight saying, gosh, after that story how could the republicans think about taking away something that is changes the lives of a family, and many families is saving them from bankruptcy. and heartache and maybe death? >> but see, i think that's the point. as long as the republicans can cast it as president obama's signature issue, a signature legislation, it's all political. the thing i think was very smart tonight about the democrats is putting the face on it, putting people out there -- because now it's republicans against them. against the little girl who needs the care. once you do that, it's difficult for them to put a face on their policy. what is the face you're going to put on the policy as to why i'm going to kill this? who's the antithesis to this little girl. even steve schmidt couldn't come up with how you characterize that.
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you have them with policy and this other side with real living people. >> if you are not careful, you and steve schmidt are going to end up on one of those weird road trips. where you play theaters. >> if i can ride with newt gingrich, i can -- i've converted more difficult. >> i would pay, i'm just saying, speaker's bureau, people out there, i would pay. on the democrat's decision ezra was highlighting there, embracing the term obama care, president obama on the stump has been saying, i like the name, i do care. connecting it to the idea of my values is why i did this. is that smart? >> from a democratic perspective, it is the president's biggest legislative accomplishment, it's been his biggest political liability. the democrats have done a terrible job over the last couple of years, trying to explain this, trying to sell this to the american people. and they've paid a high political price for it. i think it's important that just from a body language
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perspective, democrats at a convention like this signal to their troops and supporters we're going to fight, we're not backing down. it's much more about that than a concerted strategy, that now with two months to go in the election, they're going to go and try to do what they were unsuccessful at doing, selling this to the american people. i think they will do the minimal amount of stuff, i don't think you're going to see massive television buys. the president's not going to drive a stake on the ground on this issue, and make the presidential election a referendum on health care, but of the benefits begin to kick in, once people start receiving health care, there has never ever been an incident where an entitlement has been repealed in this country once people start to get it, i think that's the calculation that the democrats make on this legislation over the long term. >> and i would call it an earned benefit, not an entitlement. people have paid into this, and the american people expect it, and there's no majority anywhere
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in any survey that says we need to change all of the things that the republicans are trying to redo. >> let me bring lawrence o'donnell and chris matthews into this from charlotte. in terms of talking about this, this policy shift, is this an important part of the message tonight? is this the policy stuff they're going to move on from? or is this going to be a continuing campaign thing? >> they're going to stay on health care, because they have to, that's the way the republicans are coming at them. they have found a way tonight, that is to find individual components of the bill, like lifetime limits on insurance payouts on insurance policies. who does that affect most grotesquely, a child born with the kind of heart disease that we heard about tonight? that child's lifetime limit of health insurance is obviously going to come into play before the child's five or six years old. and so that story was delivered in a way that we've never heard
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it delivered before, stacy lindh came out and made that point clearly. now that point will be echoed throughout the week. we saw michelle obama echoing that in her speech. tonight is about michelle obama, it is now about her place in history. if you think back at where hillary clinton was at this point in the -- in her time in the white house, she was the woman at this point in time who you really couldn't talk about in american politics at the end of the clinton first term, she had led the debacle of health care reform for the clinton administration, and look at how much she has achieved since then. michelle obama is carrying no political liabilities tonight. her political future, if she were to choose one, is virtually unlimited. >> chris matthews, that's a provocative last point there from lawrence, the prospect of michelle obama for something. michelle obama running, is that the lesson for tonight? is obama care the lesson for
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tonight? what's the big underleaning underlining point? >> i think michelle obama did what julian castro did, to draw the line. the toughest thing about being the progressive, the center l t left. let people know that's where you are, you're not somebody on some slippery slope over the control of the economy, you're not some secret socialist that some crazy woman was yelling at me tonight. the. the president was a socialist and a communist. you're somewhere to the left of the center, you believe there's certain areas where capitalism has to be mellowed out, there has to be a safety net. you have to look out for people who suffer tragic illnesses. you need to have that, so the whole system works together. it's basically a relatively conservative position. you have to lay it out. until tonight, i think the democrats let the republicans define them further left than they are. that was a big mistake. >> i have to jump in here, to thank steve schmidt. we'll be back tomorrow night at 7:00 eastern for day two.
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humans -- even when we cross our t's and dot our i's, we still run into problems. namely, other humans. which is why, at liberty mutual insurance, auto policies come with new car replacement and accident forgiveness if you qualify. see what else comes standard at libertymutual.com. liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy? you can trust barack to do what he says he's going to do, even when it's hard. especially when it's hard. >> the republicans set the convention tone.
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it was more of a party than a business meeting. tonight the democrats were loud, as you hear, boisterous, energized and excited about their candidate. speaker after speaker gave passionate testimonies to this president. and the difference between what we saw tonight and what came out of tampa last week, couldn't be starker. the start tonight was michelle obama. she owned the convention floor. i think she owned everyone here and at home. let's watch part of her speech tonight. >> barack knows the american dream because he's lived it, and he wants everyone in this country, everyone to have the same opportunity, no matter who we are or where we're from or what we look like or who we love. and he believes that when you've worked hard and done well, and
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walked through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you. no, you reach back, and you give other folks the same chances that help you succeed. >> the first lady was not alone, the democrats gave a young rising star a major platform tonight. julian castro, the 37-year-old mayor of san antonio, he was the first hispanic american chosen for that honor and boy did he deliver. his speech was emotional and personal, touching on his family's immigrant experience. >> my family's story isn't special. what's special is the america that makes our story possible. ours is a nation like no other. a place where great journeys can be made in a single generation, no matter who you are or where you come from, the path is always forward. >> well, the democratic convention is clearly off to a rousing start, with some incredible speeches tonight.
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we have a lot to cover, and joining me now, debbie wasserman-schultz of florida, chair of the democratic national committee. michael steele is the former chair of the republican national committee. i was thinking tonight watching duvall patrick giving the speak of his life, watching julian castro -- the first lady may be the crowning achievement of the evening. it's your great work that made this possible. you designed this evening. you built this house, didn't you? >> no, our house was built tonight by the most open, inclusive community oriented political convention that was ever put on. we're so proud that we were able to highlight our first lady's message, mayor castro's message, that we have come through a really rough patch. we inherited under president obama's leadership, failed policies from the past that
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nearly crashed our economy. and while 2008 was an historic election, julian castro and michelle obama laid out the case that this election is personal. and that we're not going back. >> you know what i was noticing tonight, that this -- okay. a moment of greatness here for the chair woman. i want to ask you, michael about this convention as an observer. >> no, i think the democrats have come in and have kind of found their mojo. it's been a long time -- honestly, it's been a long time coming. there still exists, to be very honest about it, a legitimate gap of enthusiasm. >> here's michelle obama tonight talking about what it's like for her husband to hear from americans in those ten letters
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he reads every night. >> that's the man i see in those quiet moments late at night hunched over his desk, pouring over the letters people have sent him, the letter from the father struggling to pay his bills, from the woman dying of cancer whose insurance company won't cover her care. from the young people with so much promise but so few opportunities, and i see the concern in his eyes and i hear the determination in his voice when he tells me, you won't believe what these folks are going through, it's not right. we have to keep working to fix this, we have so much more to do. >> that was very amazing. the idea of the president of the united states living in like an area where you live in as
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president, upstairs. and coming out of his little study, what is it called? the little oval office or whatever it's called. he comes out and says, you have to read this letter, michelle, that's pretty real. >> president obama is in public service for the right reasons. he wants to make sure that in america if you work hard and play by the rules, that you can live the american dream and everyone can have an opportunity to be successful. we have to have policies like he's put in place, like 18 different tax breaks for small business owners and focusing our tax policy on making sure it's not just millionaires and bill airs that can be successful, you learn from the stories that you hear from people that write to you, the struggles they've been through, and that informs your decision making as an elected official, and it's informed president obama's decision making. that's why he goes to bat every day. >> michael, all the republicans in your party last week, we talked about how tough their
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granddaddy had it or great grandfather had it, and the democrats tell how much trouble they've been having, with their college loans, how tough it was for their parents to raise them. maybe this is just the advantage of having gotten a more recent difficult generation, where republicans are more landed, further developed, further along in the american experience these guys like romney. the last time he could point to a real difficulty, is back when his grandfather came back from mexico. >> you know, i -- >> and this is -- >> well, i don't want to put myself in the position of presuming how anybody's walk in their life is, having to deal with ms, my sister suffers from that, i know that's a very serious issue, and everybody handles it different. you don't want to presume what people do with their wealth, how they walk their lives. i think both parties are trying to key into the american people, specifically the middle class, we're prepared to fight for them. if that's what this debate is about this november, then i
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think america will be the ultimate winner here. we can go back and forth about the policy differences that exist and they're legitimate differences. i think we have to overcome the initial hurdle that the campaigns have fallen through the muck and meyer of hoisting mud at each other. let's clear all that out, if both of these conventions are serious about coming out, having a conversation, then the two parties can have that conversation, the people will judge in november, and i think that kind of debate is what the american people are looking for. when i talked about the mojo before, what i wanted to say -- to finish the thought, the democrats realize they have a gap that they have to fill. and this is part of that effort. >> the democrats, this week, have a real challenge. i mean, if you're -- this campaign came in a box, a box of anti-democratic rhetoric for months now. the republicans led by their candidate, over and over, the
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party of europe. the party of foreignness, you're the guy down on the ideas. we're going to be the next greece, you're a socialist, it seems to me, what you did tonight, was show you're clearly american born, clearly american experienced, your ideas come from the needs of real americans, they're not imported from some foreign strange place romney kept talking about. that's what i think was happening tonight. reminding everyone this is different than they say it is. >> if you look at the convention last week, which basically they put their convention on a fact free diet. >> yeah. >> because you heard speech after speech that basically mischaracterized and lied about president obama's record. it was an anti-obama convention, instead of a pro romney convention. what michael talks about, you at least hope that from being fortunate, that experience allows you to empathize with those who reason the, and it would help you make sure you went to bat for people who you needed to reach behind you and help lift up with you.
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>> i think he's done that, you saw those stories that were shared -- >> by -- >> you saw the stories that were shared by real people. >> but words are quite different than actions. >> who have tough times. look, you can talk about what the republican convention was, fact free. let's get through this one first. you just -- >> let's take a look at -- >> it's two hours old, let's get through this one first. >> let's take a look at julian castro, the mayor of san antonio. he tied his family story to that of his grandmother who emigrated from mexico as a young orphan. >> the american dream is not a sprint or a marathon, but a relay. our families don't always cross the finish line in the span of one generation, but each generation passes on to the next the fruits of their labor. my grandmother never owned a house. she cleaned other people's houses so she could afford to rent her own. she saw her daughter become the first in her family to graduate from college.
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and my mother fought hard for civil rights instead of a mop, i could hold this microphone. >> mayor castro also got some major attack lines on romney. listen to this one, about how romney just doesn't get it. >> mitt romney quite simply doesn't get it. a few months ago he visited a university in ohio and gave students there a little entrepreneurial advice. start a business, he said. but how? borrow money, if you have to, from your parents, he told them. gee, why didn't i think of that? some people are lucky enough to borrow money from their parents. but that shouldn't determine whether you can pursue your dreams. not in america. not here. not in the 21st century. i don't think governor romney meant any harm, i think he's a good guy.
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he just has no idea how good he's had it. >> pretty good line. >> more than just a line. it really shows the two paths and the two visions. and the clear choice between re-electing president obama so that we have someone in the white house, who understands that we've got to rebuild this economy from the middle class out, and the bottom up, and we can't have economic policy that only focuses on millionaires and billionaires ands ask the middle class to pay more in taxes so that hopefully the trickle down economics will drop some crumbs on the rest of us. >> are you saying we should re-elect president obama? >> i am absolutely saying we should re-elect president obama. >> thank you, debbie wasserman-schultz and michael steele. up next, he's the mojo man. up next, more about women voters on this program. live coverage of the democratic convention.
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>> i have seen firsthand that being president doesn't change who you are. no, it reveals who you are. i've seen how the issues that come across the president's desk are always the hard ones. the problems where no amount of data or numbers will get you to the right answer.
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when it comes to the health of our families, barack refused to listen to all those folks who told him to leave health reform for another day. another president. he did it because he believes that here in america, our grandparents should be able to afford their medicine. our kids should be able to see a doctor when they're sick.
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he believes that women are more than capable of making our own choices about our boies and our health care. that's what my husband stands for. >> welcome back, michelle obama delivered an electrifying and heartfelt speech tonight. she gave a strong opening performance for her husband who watched the speech from home with their daughters. the power of women in the democratic party was on full display tonight not just in the first lady's speech, but a series of speeches by women. joining me right now are salon's joan walsh, who's very sheepish about these things. an msnbc political analyst. and howard fineman, my pal, who always knows the truth. he's an msnbc political analyst, and the great christine quinn, new york city council speaker who i believe is running for mayor of the great city of new york. you're the new kid on the block, and you're irish, you get to
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speak first christine. let me ask you, i have not seen a night so strongly spoken for, spoken to, spoken about women. >> whether it was the first lady or mayor castro speaking so powerfully about his mom and his grandmother, it was a message tonight about the role the families -- particularly ones led by women have played in the history of america, and how we need to focus on them to move us even further forward. i think it was just a moving and uplifting night for everyone. >> it was family values, the phrase the republicans seem to own like a captive. >> it was every family value. i have to tell you, to hear the first lady say, that every proud american should get to go to the alter to marry who they love, it sent a chill up my spine. >> you're married? >> just in may. the president announced his
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support of marriage equality on the week of my wedding. best gift we could have gotten. >> i found it fascinating, we grew up similarly, and i think what's a stunning thing is the democrats took it back. they said, we have families and our families struggle, and we had to have student loans and it's our american experience. we're not from norway or somewhere in this awful part of europe they keep worrying about. we're from here, we grew up here, whether we have latino names or not. we grew up here. >> we belong here. >> and we're from here. and they've been denying that, rather stupidly. and the democrats have been letting them get away with it for all these months. >> no, they grabbed it back. i mean, i thought the contrast in the first lady's speech, and all the speeches was they have lived these hardships. when she talks about barack with his shoes too small and rusted out car. she's not describing something that happened to someone else. with the romneys, it sounds like a story that was told to them.
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with michelle it is coming from the heart. she created a vivid picture. you're right, julian castro likewise, created a vivid picture of his grandmother and mother, that you're like, yeah, we're really proud of who we are. >> it's funny, without getting into anybody's life, you never know what's hard or tough, ann romney saying, the toughest thing they ever went through was a rainy saturday with all the kids at home. it's not the same thing as having student loans when you're 38. >> living off mitt's stock. >> there was some tuna fish involved at one point. >> but no spam. >> the whole burden of the republican convention was to try to prove that they, especially the romneys understood the lives of middle class people, it was a proposition that they had to prove whereas a thought, what was effortless about tonight, these are unarguably middle class people. >> right. >> they don't need to prove that they understand working america, they are working america.
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that was the message. >> okay, chris. >> the other problem the republican convention had was, beyond that they don't have the policies to show that they understand. there's no substance there. >> give me an example of where the substance connected. >> the first lady talked about the president prioritizing tax cuts for small businesses. not prioritizing tax cuts just for upper income people. that puts me on the bone of the emotion. and the republicans can't do that. >> lily ledbetter, equal pay, in terms of health care for kids up to 26. >> there are things like that they can talk about. they are specific. mitt romney has a more generalized vision about the power of the market. that it doesn't have the specificity that these programs do. there's a reason why the democrats have advocated successfully programs since the new deal.
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>> the two women here, for years women, ever since reagan have been voting more democrat, i always said it's not just about choice. >> no. >> it's all these other issues that women traditionally have taken the lead on, taking care of the aging parents. >> right. >> knowing the teacher's names, knowing what shots the kids have had. knowing what's going on, and what your insurance does and doesn't cover. and the guys usually -- you know, may as well be mr. magoo for most of this stuff -- yeah, that's right, me too. you first, joan. i think that was the appeal tonight, across the board. >> men are changing. i want to give a shout out to the men that are changing, but you're right. the gender gap has always been about economic issues and women being more vulnerable quite frankly, and having to use government. to some extent more than men, i mean, i thought lily ledbetter was amazing, and when she said the difference between the 23 cents, the pay gap that mitt romney is not going to miss that
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23 cents. >> that's for women who work outside the home. lily ledbetter means nothing to a woman who doesn't work outside the home. it's an outside the home issue, right? >> i don't know if that's true. >> you have a sister, or you have a daughter or a mother. >> or you may work outside the home some day, it also sends a message that government has said you have the same worth as a man, that matters to every person. >> let's take a look at -- >> go ahead. >> here's the first lady speaking beautifully about the american dream. let's watch. >> if farmers and blacksmiths could win independence from an empire, if immigrants could leave behind everything they knew for a better life on our shores, if women could be dragged to jail for seeking the vote, if a generation could defeat a depression and define greatness for all time, if a young preacher could lift us to the mountain top with his righteous dream.
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and if proud americans can be who they are, and boldly stand at the altar with who they love, then surely, surely we can give everyone in this country a fair chance at that great american dream. >> well, that wasn't a spouse's speech, that was a speech, by any standard. >> first of all, she's got better and better as a speaker. that's the best speech i've seen her give. best speech i've ever seen a first lady give at a convention. that was a campaign speech. to me, what this was about tonight, is trying to remind president obama's original supporters, why they liked him, why they trusted him, why they were excited about him, in some states like in virginia, you're not seeing the yard signs you saw four years ago. and i think the --
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>> would y put her on the road in virginia every week, every day? >> and also, they're doubling down on women as supporters. the republicans tried to go after the female vote in tampa. >> when you have to say, i love women it's not a big deal. >> i think kathleen sebelius gave a good speech tonight. i'm glad to see the surrogates are coming out. i've been on that for months. where are the surrogates? they are acting like they're under the hat shack. sne where is surrogate bill clinton? you have to get out and get this guy re-elected. >> where's vilsack, all these people should be campaigning. >> the message i heard just now from the first lady is that america is about everybody. you don't hear that in tampa. >> please come back when we're in new york, you work there, right? >> i do. >> christine quinn, the speaker of the council of new york. joan walsh as always, howard, two great friends of mine. when we come back you're
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our troops in iraq have finally come home, so america can do some nation building here at home.
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what did you think of tonight? one word. >> michelle obama. one word heart. >> michelle obama. >> the first lady hands down, inspirational. >> best speech of the night. >> the first lady. transcend dlental. >> michelle obama, without a doubt, it was the most heartwarming speech i've heard all night. >> best speech? >> michelle obama, washington, d.c. >> why? >> awesome, because she's woman power. >> woman power. sir? >> governor strickland. hardline. >> i like that. >> mayor castro, he's definitely going to go far. >> did you say rahm emmanuel? >> are you looking for patronage? >> mayor castro, inspiring, truly about the american dream. >> michelle obama is great, she
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loves women for real, she didn't have to do a script. >> michelle obama all the way. >> castro, deval patrick, the future of the democratic party. >> i think you're right, i think those guys are going to duke it out some day. >> i became a u.s. citizen three years ago, here i am voting for obama, sir. >> michelle obama, duval patrick. >> michelle obama, she spoke straight from the heart. >> the mayor of san antonio, it's an american laugh. >> michelle obama. >> michelle awesome first lady. >> i think we have a winner here. >> here it is, i'll give you -- the story is, michelle obama beats out the mayor of san antonio in a close race, we'll be right back.
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let's go tell everyone we meet that when the american dream is on the line, we want barack obama in charge. >> welcome back. we have a big program tonight. what i saw tonight were barack obama's surrogates.
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for the first time stepping up. one after another on the achievements. with me now are david korn of mother jones. and bob costa, reporter. let me begin with the man we just saw, deval patrick, who in the past has seemed like a mild mannered speaker. he came out tonight like a barn burner. a forceful sales pitch for president obama's re-election. let's watch. >> it's time for democrats to grow a backbone and stand up for what we believe. this is the president who delivered the security of affordable health care to every single american in every corner of this country after 90 years of trying. this is the president who brought osama bin laden to justice, who ended the war in iraq and is ending the war in afghanistan.
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this is the president who ended don't ask, don't tell so that love of country determines fitness for service, who made equal pay for equal work the law of the land. this is the president who saved the american auto industry from extinction, the american financial industry from self-destruction, the american economy from full blown depression, who added 4.5 million private sector jobs in the last two and a half years, more than in george bush's eight years in office. >> what is so hard about doing that, and why is it taking until september 4th, two months before the election for someone to come out and say what was there to be said. like he just did, governor patrick. >> i wanted to know who this guy was, he should run for office, maybe challenge the incumbent in massachusetts, he sounded like an insurgent democrat. the interesting thing is, if you read his prepared remarks, said democrats need to
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stiffen their spine. he said grow a spine, he got in the moment and went further than his own speech did. he made a compelling case, he expanded on david axelrod's favorite line, barack obama, he saved gm and he killed bin laden. i think you'll see a lot of this this week, and it will kick into gear more and more. >> this is about salesmanship. this administration has driven me crazy. the cabinet acts like they're in the hat check. they can't be political. none of them speak out for the president. finally tonight, they came out and acted like they knew how to do it all along. deval patrick was great tonight. rahm emmanuel was great tonight. the mayor of san antonio was great. are they finally, are they going to hit the road now? stop putting axelrod and these paid staffers on television, start putting principals. they're the people you want to
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see on "meet the press" not the staff. that's my point and that's my question. why do they put the staffers on, instead of putting the principals on who know how to give a speech. >> you're right. it seems like you're covering talking points month after month, stephanie cutter, david axelrod. made by the people who write the talking point. >> right. you see the obama campaign became a campaign that's full of democrats that are enthusiastic. >> the grown-ups showed up. >> they didn't back away from obama care. they didn't back away from the accomplishments. they have been dancing around them for a long time. >> why did it take until now for michelle to give a speech. >> i listened to you go out to this crowd. they love michelle obama, i know that's the base, but -- >> they should put her out there, i would give her air force one, i would send her around the country starting now. >> there were three things that were done tonight. people went out and made a
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forceful case against mitt romney. you saw it again and again. >> it wasn't to slash and burn. i disagree. >> the third thing was the choice, the choice, the choice, this is an election, not just a referendum. >> let's look at a real human experience. stacey, a mother of a child, a toddler-aged daughter with a heart condition described how obama care they now call it obama care has helped her family, and a romney presidency would impair her child's chances down the road. this is heartfelt. >> so many moms with sick children, i shed tears. and i can breathe easier. knowing we have that net below us to catch us if we fall or if god forbid, zoe needs a heart transplant. obama care provides my family security and relief. but we're also scared.
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governor romney repealing health care reform is something we worry about literally every single day. zoe's third open heart surgery will happen either next year or the year after. if mitt romney becomes president and obama care is repealed, there's a good chance she'll hit her lifetime cap. there's no way we could afford to pay for all the care she needs to survive. when you have a sick child it's always in the back of your mind and sometimes in the front of your mind. on top of that, worrying that people would let insurance company take away her health care, just because of politics -- >> what do you make of that. >> it's a compelling human interest story, i think when the democrats run hard on obama care, that reminds voters about why they dislike obama care, there are compelling human
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interest stories about people who got covered under this law. at the same time people look at the cost of the plan. i think a lot of republicans were cheering that they were talking about this so much. >> obama care is essential to the first term of this president. he can't run away from it, he can't duck and hide, because republicans will attack no matter what he does. so putting up people like that, making ads like that, you could say the same thing about romney care, i know people have the same stories to tell because of romney care. you have to may this strong, they started tonight. they'll do it again and again and again with mothers talking about these things in a heartfelt way. that's the way to do it, michelle talking about it, and testimonials like that. it may not win, but you can fight back to a draw and not make obama care this demon the republicans have turned it into. >> we already have medicaid for people who are below the poverty line, there's a person who's hit with a catastrophic health
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condition. it could hit anybody whether you're above or below the poverty line. it isn't a poverty program. it's an insurance program against this kind of cost. don't you think it's better for the democrats to talk about it in human terms like this wonderful woman just did than to let the republicans keep calling it european socialism and all that stuff? >> anecdotal politics can only take you so far. >> do you think it is european socialism? is there something imported from somewhere else? universal health care coverage is something that happens in europe. >> it happened in massachusetts, come on. >> universal health care -- >> beautifully noted tonight it's 90 years promised because it was teddy roosevelt who started promising. was he european? the heritage foundation some communist front. >> i think mitt romney isn't making the european argument. >> you plate over and over again. >> obama no matter what he does good for this community he's
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some kind of foreigner, from europe or -- you always do it, you always do it. it's always some other -- he's some other -- anyway you guys never -- want me to read back the speeches to you? the genius you have running for president, all he talks about is this guy's european. thank you, david corn and robert costa for trying. up next, we'll be back with a few hollywood stars to make their way to charlotte. thank you. >> i've worked on a lot of fun movies, my favorite job was having a boss who gave the order to take out bin laden and who's cool with all of us getting gay married. so thank you invisible man in the chair for that. [ cheers and applause ]
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>> and for giving my friends access to affordable health insurance and doubling funding for the pell grant.
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three weeks ago my buddy kevin's boyfriend was able to watch him graduate from marine corps training. that's change.
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and we can't turn back now. >> he led some starpower to the democratic national convention here in charlotte. i'm here with three people advocating for the arts. with me are patricia arquette, john leguizamo along with robin brock who's chief executive officer. i love that power. first of all, as artists, what did you make of tonight's rollout by the democrats. the choreography, the beauty. the music. what did you make of it? >> it felt very exciting, i've never been to a convention before. our coalition went to the republican convention and some of us got to come to this. >> this was one of the best
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nights and i've been to about 50 of them. i've been going since 1960. and this is -- the best opening night i've seen. >> i loved tonight, i was so moved, everything they said. moved the plot forward, answered questions that were pending in the air. i was moved to tears many, many times. >> i thought that the mayor of san antonio was fabulous. >> incredible. he's our future -- >> i think he and deval patrick -- look out for the gun fight down the road. >> deval patrick was amazing. and libby ledbetter. >> everybody liked that too. >> i laughed, i cried, it was the best. >> i laughed, i cried, it's a movie. i thought what was surprising is the surprising, that michelle could give a barn burner of a political speech. this wasn't a my husband's great, it was a call to arms. >> it was great. i watched her and i thought about four years ago too. it's so wonderful to see how michelle has evolved. she was great four years ago,
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today she moved everyone in that speech. >> fortune magazine, that's about rich republicans asked mitt romney last month where he would start making budget cuts. these are his words. what he said. first there are programs i would eliminate. obama care being one of them, also various subsidy programs, the amtrak subsidy, the pbs subsidy, the subsidy for the national endowment for the arts, the national endowment for the humanities. i think they need to end on their own rather than borrow money from other countries. what a know nothing. he wants to cut funding on pbs. forget anything like the humanities or the arts. >> this is one of the stupidest things i heard of. you don't cut programs that bring your nation money.
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every dollar spent on the arts brings back $7 taxable income to our government. if you look at just the ipad, it was only created to download music, music that was being stolen on the internet. has generated over a billion dollars of taxable income. the number two export in the united states is arts and entertainment. you do not do that. we only spent $146 million on our arts spending. >> what's under that. >> agriculture. and under arts and entertainment is military. >> wow, military equipment and all that stuff. >> with all the movies in the world -- >> do you know what we subsidize those with? billions of dollars. it's in everything you look at, you go to buy a t-shirt, you don't go let me buy that ugly t-shirt. let me buy that t-shirt that looks like the other t-shirt. everything you purchase as a consumer nation you purchase because an artist made that. an artist decided what it was going to look like. if i'm a small business and i'm
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going to have somebody make a website for me, i don't say, let me just pick the cheapest ugliest one. >> you made your case, why would a candidate for office make a point of sticking it in the eye of the national endowment for arts and humanities? why would he throw that on a list of cuts? except for amtrak which is the way we get up and down the east coast, he is only focusing on the arts. i want you to explain why a politician would do that? >> the republicans are always trying to say that hollywood is backing the democrats. >> or they're pornographic or whatever. >> and then you have clint eastwood -- he says, a lot of republicans who are -- >> look at the rnc, they rolled out the artist, right? what's clint eastwood, he's an actor, an artist. they rolled him out. >> i want to get to the real toxicity of this. why would a guy running for president of the united states,
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when asked what he'd cut, why would he just focus on culture? >> i think that is a great lesson on why our country is failing in mathematics. for every dollar spent you bring seven dollars back. >> opposing education and arts, not believing there's climate change and not being anything clear about almost anything we learned in science. stem cell and things like that. could it be that he doesn't believe in science? at least not -- >> when did arts become a political issue? that's what's crazy. that's insane. >> when we salute our flag, we sing a song. when winston churchill was told during the war that they were going to need to cut the funding for the arts, he said then what are we fighting for? this is our cultural identity. this is what makes our lives worth living. >> it's a great economic development resource tool. >> thank you for coming out here late at night. it's 1:00 in the morning almost east coast time. thank you, patricia arquette, john. and thank you, robin, who put
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this all together. and let's remember my son thomas is one of you guys now. he is an actor on "newsroom." that's it for our coverage of the democratic national convention in charlotte tonight. i'll be back tomorrow for hardball at 5:00 eastern. full coverage of a second night of the convention. a speech by bill clinton tomorrow night. you can't beat that. until then good night from charlotte.
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this is msnbc's continuing coverage of the democratic national convention. in charlotte, north carolina. being a political spouse, being the spouse of a politician is not an easy thing, but it is a whole other job entirely to be first lady of the united states. it is a job that brings a lot of speaking responsibilities. and oh, my god, did you see that tonight. the first lady tonight, a long, personal, emotional, frankly excellent speech.
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>> it was between her and that audience in the room. i thought the camera work was so important to watch thing on television. you saw in the faces of men and women, of black and white, of all different backgrounds the connection he was making with people. the emotional connection, telling the story of the love affair with her husband. it was hope and change. yes, hope and change. but not hope and change imaginely overnight, but hope through work and patience and time and effort and then change. i think it was a much more mature looking american life and a more realistic look at their lives. i assume most americans watching tonight have gotten close to the american dream, have done it the way they did it, with student
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loans, good parents that made them study, of spending hours with kids answering their questions. that is the normal route. i think that was what was so wonderful about her speech. >> let me bring in lawrence o'donnell, who was in the room, in the hall hearing this speech there. lawrence, we could tell by magic of satellite how thunderous the ovation was like. what were you seeing? >> the camera doesn't lie, rachel. it was really a striking speech in so many ways. there is now no question who the best speech maker in the history of the first ladyship is, and that is michelle obama. we have to remember most first ladies until the television age never gave a speech. still, among those who have, there has never been a speaker who could deliver what we just saw. it was not a terribly partisan
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speech. it did not get into a lot of nitty gritty divisive kind of politics, details of politics. she did make some very simple statements about what her husband has delivered in office. but what you had here in the room, rachel, was a real, powerful connection. it is tangible, it is real. it's very hard to judge this from where i'm standing but it felt like she was delivering it on screen, also. a very difficult speech to write at this stage, to in effect be introducing barack obama but it did have that element of introduction, framed in terms of reminder. one of the most striking passages of the speech was when she went into a refrain about why she loves barack obama. that is a difficult piece of writing for a wife to say publicly this is why i love this man. it's difficult to make it convincing in a context, in an
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arena like this. it was, i think, the most beautiful section of the speech and probably for people who want to get a feel for what it's like to be married to the president, it was probably the most effective part of that speech. >> i think that's right. and i think it was interesting to see the parallel construction of the personal parts you're talking there. with what ann romney tried to accomplish in her speech, talking about the reasons that she loves her husband and the ways that she sees her husband that are personal and private and that are a window into his character. it's an assurance from a very close vantage point and both of the speeches by the wives of the candidates tried to go there in the same way. this will invite comparisons with the ann romney speech, will it not? >> it will. and there was very little anecdote in either one of the romney speeches. and that's the part where it becomes really interesting, where she's talking about their experience with student loans,
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their experience with debt. not their great grandfathers or father's but their own and there's no strain in it, rachel. when michelle obama tells these stories, there is absolutely no sense of reaching like, oh, you know, she wants to use this little factoid for a political score. it's all part of the natural flow of the real story about how she came to be standing on that stage speaking on behalf of her husband tonight. >> let me bring in the reverend al sharpton for this. al, you have spoken at political conventions. you spoke as a presidential candidate in 2004 and you are a lifelong order. in listening to this speech, obviously everybody watching this speech is going to have positive feelings about michelle obama. her likeability is not on the ballot. what did she accomplish with this speech? how good was it? >> i think she really connected with the american people in a way that you know she was not reading lines that someone wrote
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for her. you get the real feeling that she's telling her real human story. and i think what was most effective is how she talked about how they relate to their daughters because people don't put their kids up for a political auction. and when she started talking about the dream for their kids and how they relate and how he's at the dinner table to answer their questions, i think that's the things that brings you beyond politics. you know, i've known president obama and mrs. obama since he was in the senate, spent time with them and brought my daughters around. she has this unusual way to connect both one on one and publicly and she really connected tonight. i give my due respect to miss romney. i don't think we could attack people's spouses. but there's a connection that is unusual in michelle obama. >> and the speech was remarkably well-crafted from a political perspective. it made this one argument, right? the president has incredibly high favorability ratings personally.
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handling the economy is the thing he's lacking on. the argument michelle obama made is their is no distance between the two. the personal is political. she was saying, if you like the man barack obama but feel a little eh about how the country is, you can't separate who that person is once they get into oval office. the entirety of the speech made an implicit argument that the biggest strengths of the president should be the controlling determining factor in casting your vote. >> from a republican perspective, was that what she was trying to do? >> look, i think it was a brilliantly written speech and brilliantly delivered. if you look at the journey of michelle obama, it's just unbelievable that four years ago the conventional wisdom is she was a political liability. four years later she delivers an incredible speech, one of the most popular people in the country and i think that the two big speeches tonight have given the democrats a really good opening night.
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and the argument is just crystal clear and to see how it will build over the course of the week what was delivered tonight was the notion that we get it. we understand the pessimism in the country. we understand the pain you're in because of the economy. we get it. we understand it. we know it. we feel it. and they don't. and i think tomorrow you're going to see that argument begin to advance, of course, with former president clinton, with the vice president, and then building to the president's speech on thursday night. but i think the democrats on the back of the brilliant keynote speech and then the first lady speech, we've had a very good opening night. >> in the end, for barack these issues are not political. they are personal. barack knows the dream because he lived it and he wants everyone in the country to have the same opportunity no matter what we look like or where we live. >> it's been one speech after another, personal experiences, very emotional. she had the crowd right in the palm of her hand.
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and i think that we may have forgotten how good michelle obama is. and tonight we were reintroduced to a star, someone that has a real impact and the impact that she has had is on her family. and she is still the same first lady that -- she talked about how barack is the same guy -- she has it all in perspective. a lot of soul searching tonight for the democrats, explaining to the country who we are, what we're about, what we believe in, and we're not going to stop. that's what i've taken from that. i mean, when she said that being president doesn't change who you are, it reveals who you are, i don't know if there was a better line in the speech. >> and she demonstrated -- don't forget, this is the couple that brought her mother to live in the white house. i mean, they are telling a narrative that they live, the mother you saw in the video, lives with them in the white house, takes care of the children. so it's not something that's just made for video. that's how they live.
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>> there are elements of the right, particularly of the far right media that have been increasingly comfortable with attacking michelle obama and increasingly personal terms over the course of this presidency. i think there's going to be backlash against that, or at least they will feel innately that they will have to pull back, if it was as much of a blockbuster as we all think it was going to be. for a reality check, inwant to two to chuck todd. chuck can be hard bitten on these things, comparing this reaction with anything that you saw, for example, last week in tampa. >> let's compare, first, the 10:00 hours. night one of the republicans, night one of the democrats. at the time night one of the republicans, you think that was a pretty good night. ann romney was good. then you walk away going, why did she not end the night? why did chris christie end the night? compare how well the democrats choreographed night one. you start with introducing the 10:00 hour. you start with an introduction
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to someone that you may not know, julian castro and then you end the way they ended tonight. michelle obama owned this convention, the delegates. i've been on the floor -- in the way that no speaker that has owned the floor of the convention in tampa. you could just -- you heard the -- you could watch emotional connections from the delegates to the first lady. it was very powerful to watch and it's got to be something that democrats have to feel good about just the -- how much passion there is for the president. in tampa, the passion on the floor, when you say it, was never for mitt romney. it was always against the president. and it's just -- it is just one of those striking differences, at least on this first night that i've taken away being here, seeing how everybody here is listening to all of the speeches, even the ones at 8:00 and 7:00 and at 8:30 versus sam
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in tampa where they really only tuned in at 10:00. >> chuck, let me ask you something about chris hayes said about the structure, be that this is an effort to take inarguably the president's strong suit and the first lady shares in it, which is likeability, personal attractiveness, for lack of a better term, and to apply that asset to the liability of how he is seen to be handling the economy, the first lady trying to bridge that asset into that liability by saying, if you like him as a person you should know the things that you like about him as a person are what he is applying to the economy. do you think that's what she was trying to do and is that smart? >> well, i do. all presidential elections are values elections. in this case, if the president wins in this tough economy, it's going to be because he won the economic values argument and it seems -- there's one polling way to measure this, rachel. we show it. yes, mitt romney beats the president on who has better
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economic ideas but then you ask that question, who will be more likely to look out for the middle class? well, that's what michelle obama was testifying to. hey, look at -- let me tell you how he was brought up, let me tell you how i was brought up. we were the middle class. we had debt. she was testifying to that. and he's already winning on that score and they want to exploit that cap and expand it more. it plays into the weakness they think of mitt romney personally and let's be crass about this and look at the battleground states. it plays in ohio. it plays in wisconsin. it plays in florida. a lot of struggling middle class families in those three states in particular. >> chuck, thank you. i want to go back to chris matthews. chris, we had a moment, a brief pause in the program between the keynote speech by julian castro and the first lady's speech, and in that brief moment you described the julian castro speech as one of the greatest speeches you've ever heard.
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i've got to ask you why you said that, what it was about that speech that you liked so much and what do you think it did tonight? >> i think it's very important for people whose families came from europe ultimately to begin to understand that families that came from latin america have a very similar emgrant experience. latinos and latinas are brought up to being self-reliant to, make it in this new country, to not rely on government for anything other than a good education. but they don't expect to be victims of this society or somehow needy people. they hope very much to share fully in the opportunities of this country, to become ultimately perhaps a bit upper middle class, to get to the top of their ambitions and i think that's really important. i've never heard it put so well, the immigrant experience of someone that came from the south as well as from the west or asia even. i think that was really important and to say that the latino, the guys like him, the women like him, their dreams are not just parallel with other people, they are fresh.
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they are hopeful right now to get a lot of what our families got generations ago. it's a very alive statement about the american dream. it has nothing to do with wanting to have dependency on government, welfare as a long term proposition. i thought it really challenged the middle. i think it was hopeful towards the middle. the bow was aiming at the base. the governor of massachusetts was aiming at the other third of the latinos still holding out for the republican side. >> i want to point out that the white house sent out a photo of president obama watching the first lady's speech in the white house. i guess they are in the white house treaty room, apparently. i wouldn't recognize the couch. i don't know. obviously the president there watching the first lady's speech along with their daughters malia and sasha. in terms of the julian castro speech, it would be wrong not to note the parallel in structure describing the immigrant
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experience from so many of the speeches we heard at the republican convention and the democratic convention. so many people talking about having come from hard circumstances, even in their own lives, their parents' lives or grandparents' lives was a story we've heard over and over again. we've been talking about this idea of social mobility being the idea of the american dream. the difference, we got those same parallel personal stories in both conventions. the difference is tonight we got policy discussion about how america should treat current immigrants, which we got none of last week. talking about immigration last week as if immigration is something that used to be awesome for immigrants that came here a long time ago but for now implicitly, you've got to go. >> i think all speeches have touched, intertwined personal experience with policies and what the democrats support, whether it be food stamps, pell grants or leaving the door open for the next generation, speaking about responsibility, it's not all about you, it's about the country. it's kind of a country first
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presentation to america. but they did a good job of, you know, intertwining where they stand on policy with life experiences. and i think that's so relatable. this has been such a night of relateability. even if you're not a democrat, if you're an independent and there's not a whole lot of people who haven't made up their mind yet, the window of opportunity to grab those people that are undecided. this has been an impressive night if you're an average thinking, fair minded american about things. >> the other thing -- to return to the theme of the michelle obama speech was remarkable, she didn't mention mitt romney once but she crushed him with everything that was in the speech because everything was the unsaid contrast to mitt romney. >> i've walked in your shoes. >> exactly. we understand you. we've been there. and i like this, because we built this and the fact that it
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was the recurring theme, the teachers who inspired us to the janitors who kept our school clean, we were taught to value everyone's contribution, treat everyone with respect, which is a basic commonsense value that people share and was a very subtle and appropriate reply to this hyperindividualism. that was the explicit theme of the republican convention. >> you're exactly right. it responds to, you know, you didn't build this by yourself. it was a very subtle but powerful way to deal with them, we built this on our own. she's talking about the ordinary average people that did. very effective. she did as her husband has did, this appeal is not about party but what we are as american people. i even saw steve schmidt clapping under the table. >> the julian castro speech was a great speech. it reminded me a lot of schwarzenegger's speech in the 2004 republican convention. what a skill it is to have a
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smile on your face and be able to lacerate your opponent very, very effectively tonight. but to chris' point, it reminds me of george bush and the 2000 campaign where he talked about people who had indeed come to the country illegally but he framed it as not an act of criminality but an act of love, crossing this desert through formidable conditions to get a better life for your family and you see in the republican party that the face that's put forward to latino community in this country is so often harsh, anti-immigrant, it's not the face of the marco rubio who actually do very well getting elected in western states. you saw tonight the face of the future. the republican party as a national party is going to have great difficulty competing if it can't appeal to the latino
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community in this country, because one day you're going to see a race in this country for president between maybe a castro and a rubio. >> that's exactly right. >> it's coming. >> in the republican party right now, you're right, the george bush wing of the republican party on immigration issues lost, and the people who are won are the jan brewers and mitt romneys. jeb bush keeps speaking eloquently about but those folks are losing. i want to go to howard fineman who has been on the convention floor tonight. he's talking to people not just about their reaction but what democrats think the kind of work is they need to get done out of this convention to help them out for november. howard? >> reporter: yeah, rachel. michelle obama came out tonight to the music of "signed, sealed, and delivered." but obviously it's not signed, sealed and delivered. and my interpretation of her speech and julian castro's speech is in many ways they are
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speaking to the obama supporters and trying to reignite the enthusiasm of what those people showed four years ago. they were introducing barack obama to the volunteers and to the people who made it happen four years ago. i was talking to mark warner, the senator from virginia who had been governor. he was traveling around the state on labor day when they have traditional rallies in the state. four years ago, he said to me on the floor tonight, four years ago there were barack obama signs everywhere and the people who put up the signs, the roadside signs, the lawn signs paid for the signs themselves. this time around there were no signs to be seen in any of those rural, middle, and southern virginia places. so the purpose of tonight from castro and from the first lady was to speak to those people and plead with those people. i thought towards the end of the speech michelle obama was saying, look, you know what the vision is. i'm reminding you of what the vision of barack obama and the
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democratic party is but we need you to get out there and work. we need you to be enthusiastic. and that's the important thing for the latino vote, the women's vote, and interestingly enough in virginia, the veterans' vote because they think they have a got chance there. if barack obama cannot ignite those people in northern virginia, he's going to lose virginia. if he loses virginia, he could well lose the election. that's the sort of on the ground reality. mark warner was concerned and hopes that things will develop over the next few weeks and i've got to say that speech by michelle tonight, i thought especially to remind people of what they liked about barack obama to begin with is important in ending what really still is an enthusiasm gap. you hear an undertone here despite the cheers of concern about the ground game. >> it's an important reminder of why we're hearing so many of these speeches, even the lighthearted ones turn to, this is why we have to work, this is why we have to volunteer and turn it into something. >> exactly. >> howard, thank you.
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one thing that we have not aired tonight is another speech that happened that sort of brought the house done on the convention floor, the reaction to this was a little bit over the top each. ohio governor ted strickland mince nod words going after mitt romney. we'll have some clips coming up. it was the opposite speech to michelle obama but brought the house down in a partisan way. we've got that ahead. and we have ezra klein. this is msnbc's live coverage of the democratic national convention. stay with us. i have seen firsthand that being president doesn't change who you are. no, it reveals who you are. i have seen how the issues are always the hard ones. the problems where no amount of data or numbers will get you to the right answer.
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hello everyone. here's what's happening. michelle obama took the stage at the democratic national convention. she told the crowd for president obama, the issues are personal, not political and cited the health care law, tax cut to the middle class and the outo bailouts. and the president's former chief of chaff, rahm emanuel, calls his former boss a once in a generation president and says
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whoever wins will have the opportunity to shape the country for decades to come. mitt romney and the rnc raised $100 million last month, according to early figures. official totals are due out next week. gm, ford and chrysler all reported better than expected sales gains in august. and the government says gas prices rose nearly seven cents in the last week after refineries shut down due to isaac. our coverage of the dnc will return after this break. ly 6..i.
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america will prevail. it begins with re-electing barack obama. it begins with you. it begins now. >> welcome back to msnbc's live coverage of the democratic national convention. andrea mitchell is on the convention floor and i believe she has new york senator charles schumer with her. >> indeed i do. hello, rachel. what did you think? >> she knocked it out of the park. it was just incredible. i was choked up.
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it was a great speech. >> what was different about this? because we've heard speeches that are biographical and she certainly communicated the value system of her husband but there was a connection to policy. >> exactly. she linked it. the whole job of this convention is to show the average middle class person that we're going to do more for them than the other side. she did that. because it wasn't just, i love my husband and he's a great guy and great father. mrs. romney did that, too. but she tied it to what average people go through. she talked about the student loans that they had when they got out of school. the romneys wouldn't know what a student loan was if it stared them in the face. she tied about their experience that she and barack climbed. the romney speech was sort of way up there and it was nice but it wasn't close to this. so if this is a metaphor, the rest of the convention, i'm excited because i think it will
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mean that we are connecting to average folks and feel their pain and their anguish and, most of all, their worry about the future and can answer those worries much better than the other side. >> reporter: there's no question that she connected in the hall. i mean, it was an amazing experience because people were so fired up, passionately fired up. people had tears in their eyes. do you think that it's communicated out to the rest of america? >> you know, some speeches are good in the hall and not good elsewhere but this was so powerful. my experience tells me it just pierced right through. she had those digs when she talked about when you make it you don't slam the door on people trying to make it. that had direct implications but people got what it did and i'll tell you something else, some people say, well, maybe she's angry. maybe she's upset. she was a powerful person and a strong person but a nice, caring person. there were tears in her eyes. >> reporter: she said that her best role, most important role is mom in chief.
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tomorrow night, bill clinton and the big night thursday. >> let me tell you, it's like one, two, three, like in new york we would say, ruth, gehrig, dimaggio. if the next two speeches are as good as i think they'll be, and hers i didn't have any idea it would be as strong as this, it's going to be a very good convention for us. >> reporter: as they would say in new york, murder is row. >> let's hope so. >> reporter: thanks so much. rachel, back to you. >> andrea, thank you very much. chris matthews is there as well. he's with my friend michael steele. chris? >> we're back. that's all for you, michael. as an outside observer, i want you to rate the three big speeches that i thought were the big speeches, julian castro from the mayor of san antonio and, of course, the first lady. do you want to do an ascending order of how you liked them? >> i do. i liked castro's speech.
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it set the tone. i got this sense, rubio and raise you a castro between the two parties. but i think what he had to do and he worked it very well. deval patrick is a diamond in the rough. a lot of folks haven't paid attention to him. i think he's someone to look at down the road even though his plans are to step out when he's done as governor, he can always come back in. but i thought the first lady gave a hell of a speech. i thought she laid down and i know -- i know, you know, i'm supposed to be all partisan but i'm an american and tonight that was a very good speech by the first lady setting down the marker for her husband's administration and i disagree all day long with her husband's policies and administration but you've got to give props where props are due. the first lady did a great job laying out the argument for -- in personal terms.
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there were a lot of similarities between her and ann romney in terms of how they talked about their family life, how they wrapped around what they are doing with their husbands. i thought it was very well done. >> four more years! four more years! >> michael, my friend, how would you rate the dress? >> stunning. stunning. >> she came out and the first thing i thought was the wow word. the way she presented herself, the way she talked about her love for her husband. i don't think we've heard that from her before. >> no. and if you go back, chris, and you look at the speech in 2008 and you compare it to now, you can see how this first lady has grown in the office of first lady, how her experience with the american people and in the white house sort of culminated in that speech and i thought the theme of the speech was very powerful. it's like, we have not changed. you know, in the sense that we're still barack and michelle. i think that's a very powerful message and i thought howard
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fineman was dead on point, too. the undertheme tonight in all the speeches was to the base of the democratic party, don't forget, you've got to work. we've got to work this. because they do suffer enthusiasm gap. republicans are fired up and ready to go this fall and this speech is to kickstart that. >> back to you, rachel. >> in thinking about the power of the first lady's speech, which we're hearing in republicans and democrats and journalistic observers tonight, a couple things i want to point out, in terms of the nonpartisan nature of the speech. talking about her family and the president's family, they didn't begrudge anyone's success or care that anyone had much more than they did. in fact, admired it, which is a rebuttal to the republicans saying that you're just resentful of mitt romney's success. and also she said, for barack obama there is no such thing as us or them. he doesn't care if you're a republican or democrat or none of them.
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and the phone from the first lady has given it the nonpartisan appeal. in contrast, a speech that brought down the house tonight in charlotte in front of the democratic audience but had a totally different tone in terms of being harshly, harshly critical of mitt romney and of the republicans. the speech was given by former ohio governor, ted strickland, delivering a hard hitting speech boosting what president obama has done for his home state of ohio, strickland's home state of ohio but also really, really attacking mitt romney. here's some of what he had to say and how the crowd responded. >> the auto industry supports one out of every eight jobs in ohio and it's alive and growing in america again. late last year, chrysler announced they were hiring 1,100 new auto workers in toledo. all over america, all over ohio, men and women are going back to
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work with the pride of building something stamped "made in america." that's what happens when you have a president who stands up for average working people. barack obama has stood up for us and now by god we will stand up for him. now, mitt romney, he lives by a different code. to him, american workers are just numbers on a spreadsheet. if he had had his way, devastation would have cascaded from michigan to ohio and across the nation. if mitt was santa claus, he would fire the reindeer and outsource the elves. mitt has so little economic patriotism that even his money
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needs a passport. it's summers on the beaches of the cayman islands and winter on the slopes of the swiss alps. barack obama is betting on the american worker. mitt romney is betting on a bermuda shell corporation. barack obama is saving the american auto industry. mitt romney saved on his taxes. >> i loved the part where he got to outsourcing the elves. he said the word elf and cracked myself up. chuck todd spoke with ted strickland right after the speech. >> i'm here with former ohio governor ted strickland. tough speech on romney. any hesitance about getting so tough? >> no. none whatsoever. i think mitt romney and his campaign are being terribly
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dishonest. they're accusing the president of getting the work requirement out of welfare. he knows it's not true and yet he continues to spend a lot of money spreading that lie, quite frankly, it is a lie. >> you think the welfare ad is specifically targeting those working white class workers that we all talk about in ohio? >> i think it's not so subtle racism. they don't want to come out and say certain things. in my judgment -- i'm speaking for myself, not for the obama administration, but i've seen this playbook before where they try to drive wedges between people. the problem with this effort, though, chuck, is it's a lie and the media has looked at this carefully and they've said it's a lie and the romney campaign continues to do it. and i -- >> why do you think they are? >> i think they are trying to divide people and i think they are trying to create divisions. and that's just reprehensible,
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in my judgment. so i think when something like that happens, it ought to be called for what it is. so i don't think i was nearly as tough on the romney campaign tonight as perhaps i could have been. >> ohio seems to be a state that is moving the president's direction. you talked to the romney campaign. what is on the ground that has happened where a year ago i'm sure you heard from barack obama folks who said we ought to do this without ohio. what has it done? >> mitt romney has known he's wanted to be president for a long time and yet he put his money in the cayman islands. he opened up a swiss bank account. >> you think those issues have pushed ohio -- >> those kinds of issues because they say something about judgment and i think they say something about character, quite frankly. >> ted strickland speaking with chuck todd just after his speech tonight, chuck essentially asking him, are you sure you
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wanted to punch mitt romney that hard and ted strictland saying, no, hold on, i forgot my brass knuckles. here, let me do it again. wow. tonight was also the night that the democrats took back the messaging on health reform. that could have political implications because the republicans are planning on running on it. i mean, running against it. you're watching msnbc's live coverage of the democratic convention. we're back right after this. >> all of the republicans are saying if we just shrink government, cut taxes, crush unions, all will be well. multi-policy discount. paperless discount. paid-in-full discount. [yawning] homeowner's discount. safe driver discount. chipmunk family reunion.
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i shed tears and i can breathe easier knowing we have that net below us to catch us if we fall or if, god forbid, zoey needs a heart transplant. obama care provides my family security and relief. >> being a woman is no longer a pre-existing condition. >> our kids should be able to see a doctor when they are sick and no one in this country should ever go broke because of
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an accident or an illness. >> the democrats did not give their convention night's overt themes the way the republicans did but if there was an unofficial at least policy theme for what we heard tonight, it could be, we democrats passed health reform and we're proud of it. earlier this evening, ezra klein pointed out the democrats themselves have started calling health reform obama care after resisting that for some time. republicans used to call that as a dig, but democrats are happily calling it that, too. ezra? >> yeah. i thought that was actually the big news going forward. michelle obama's speech and if you're looking for what is going to change the way the campaign is run from here on out, i think tonight will be seen as the night that the democrats took back obama care or at least developed a strategy to run on it. in 2010 it did not poll that well for them and they have been fairly quiet about it but since over and over again tonight they developed a pretty clear way of
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talking about it and in particular the speech by stacy lihn was dramatic and i would say going forward in november you're going to see a fair number of ads going up in swing state where is you have people like her speaking directly into a camera and saying listen, my child has a preexisting condition. my child could be blowing through a lifetime cap. if mitt romney is elected and kills obama care, i don't know what i will do. >> ezra, i want to make this point, and just pretent that i'm not stealing it from you, but when we think about repealing obama care, which is officially the candidate's position, mitt romney, you think it's hard to get bills passed. you know, all they have to do is use budget reconciliation, if they get the senate to kill the subsidies. it's important people understand this. killing obama care is much
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easier than getting over the filibuster threshold in the senate. if you kill the subsidies that create the expanded coverage, the rest of it can't stand. all they need is a divided senate with paul ryan casting the deciding vote, and believe me, they will do it. it plays to their base. they've promised everyone they will do it. that is really in the most clear way what is at stake from a policy perspective, is the signature legislative achievement of the president and the democratic party and the center left coalition is on the table if mitt romney is elected and it's hard to imagine him being elected without a senate. >> that's why it's so important you have senators running in difficult states, running on health reform. >> that plays to some of these people's sensibilities. i bet there's folks out there
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watching tonight saying gosh, after that story, how could the republicans think about taking away something that is, you know, changes the lives of a family and many families? saving them from bankruptcy and heartache and maybe death? >> but see, i think that's the point. as long as the republicans can cast it as president obama's signature issue or signature legislation, it's all political. the thing that i think was very smart tonight about the democrats is putting a face on it, now it's the republicans against the little girl that needs the care. once you do that, it's very difficult for them to put a face on their policy. what is the face you're going to put on the policy as to why i'm going to kill this. that's where their problem is. even steve schmidt wouldn't come up with how you characterize
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that. you've got them with policy and this other side with real living people. >> if you are not careful, you and steve are going to end up on those weird rare road trips. >> if i can ride with newt gingrich, i can ride with steve. >> steve, on the democrat's decision about embracing the term "obama care," president obama is saying, i like the name and i do care. is that smart? >> from a democratic perspective, it is the president's biggest accomplishment and his biggest political liability. the democrats have done a terrible job over the last couple of years trying to explain this and sell this to the american people and they've paid a high political price for it. i think it's important that just from a body language perspective that democrats at a convention like this signal to their troops that we're going to fight.
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we're not backing down. it's much more about that, than a concerted strategy that now, you know, with two months to go in the election that they're going to go and try to do what they were unsuccessful at doing, selling this to the american people. i think they will do the minimum amount of stuff, but i don't think you're going to see massive television buys. i don't think the president is going to drive a stake in the ground on this issue and make the presidential election a referendum on health care. but democrats understand, once all of the benefits begin to kick in, once people start receiving health care, there has never, ever been an incident where an entitlement has been repealed in this country, once people start to get it. i think that's the calculation that the democrats make on this legislation over the long-term. >> and i would call it an earned benefit, not an entitlement. people have paid into this and the american people expect it and there's no majority anywhere
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in any survey that says we need to change all of the things that the republicans are trying to redo. >> let me bring lawrence o'donnell and chris matthews into this. this policy shift tonight, is this an important part of this message tonight, is it the policy stuff they've covered and will move on from or a continuing campaign theme? >> they have to stay on health care, that's the way the runs are coming at them. they have found a way tonight, and that is to find individual components of the bill, like life-time limits on insurance payouts on insurance policies. who does that affect most grotesquely? a child born with the kind of heart disease that we heard about tonight, that child's lifetime limit of health insurance is obviously going to be -- going into come into play before the child is 5 or 6. so that was delivered in a way that we never heard before. stacey lihn made that point
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clearly and now that will be oakoed throughout the week. we saw michelle obama echoing that in her speech. tonight, ultimately is about michelle obama. it is now about her place in history. if you think back at where hillary clinton was at this point in her time in the white house, she was the woman who you couldn't talk about in american politics at the end of the clinton first term, because she led the debacle of health care reform for the clinton administration and look at how much she has achieved since then. michelle obama is carrying no political liabilities tonight. her political future, if she were to choose one, is virtually unlimited. >> chris matthews, that's a provocative last point, the prospect of michelle obama for something. michelle obama running. is that the lesson for tonight? >> well, i just think michelle obama did the same thing tonight
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that castro did, to draw the line. the toughest thing about being a process save, someone of the center left, like i believe the president is, is so let people know that's where you are. you're not a secret socialist that some crazy woman was yelling at me, that the president was a socialist or a come nils. you're left of the center, because you believe there's some areas where capitalism has to be mellowed out. you have to look out for people who do suffer tragic illnesses. you need to have that, so that the whole system works together. it's a relatively conservative position, but you have to lay it out. until tonight, i think the democrats let the republicans define them as further left than they are, and that was a big mistake politically. all elections are fought in the center. >> i have to thank all my panel. we'll be back here tomorrow night at 7:00 eastern for day two. iven way to sleeping.
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i love that we can trust barack to do what he says he's going to do, even when it's hard. especially when it's hard. >> we saw in tampa the republican, it was less of a tone of the party and more of a business meeting.
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the democrats are loud, boisterous, energized and actually excited about their candidate. passionate testimonies were made to the president and the difference between what we saw tonight and what came out of tampa last week couldn't be starker. the start tonight was michelle obama who gave a powerful and personal speech. as my colleague chuck todd put it earlier she owned the convention floor. i think she owned everyone here as well and at home. let's watch part of her speech tonight. >> barack knows the american dream because he's lived it. and he wants everyone in this country -- everyone to have the same opportunity no matter who we are or what we look like or who we love. and he believes that when you work hard and have done well and walk through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it
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shut behind you. no, you reach back and you give other folks the same chances that help you succeed. >> well, the first lady was not alone. the democrats gave a young rising star a major platform tonight. castro, he was the first american hispanic chosen for the honor of giving the keynote. he touched on his family's immigrant experience. >> my family's story isn't special. but special is the america that makes our story possible. it's a place where great journeys can be made in a single generation. no matter who you are or where you come from, the path is always forward. >> so the democratic convention is clearly off to a rousing start with some incredible
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speeches. joining me is debby wasserman schultz and michael steele, the former chair of the republican national committee and msnbc political analyst. i was thinking in the midst of this incredible evening watching julian castro give -- make castro a good night in this country, and i dare say the first lady gave the crowning achievement of this evening. it's your great work that made this possible. >> thank you. >> you designed this evening, you built this house. >> well, our house was built tonight by the most open and inclusive convention that was ever part put on. we're so proud that we were able to highlight the first lady's message, mayor castro's message, that we have come through a really rough patch. we inherited under president obama's leadership failed policies from the past that nearly crashed our economy.
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while 2008 was a historic election, julian castro and michelle obama laid out the case that this election is personal and that we're not going back. >> you know what i was noticing tonight, that this -- you've got a few fans. okay. what i was noticing -- a moment of greatness here for the chairwoman. i want to ask you about this convention as an observer. >> no, i think the democrats have come in and kind of found their mojo. it's been a long time. well, you know, honestly it's been a long time coming. there still exists to be honest about a legitimate gap in enthusiasm. mojo, yeah. >> a personal anecdote from michelle obama tonight.
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here is what she talks about what it is like for her husband to hear from the americans in the ten letters he reads every night. >> that's the man i see in those quiet moments late at night, hunched over his desk, pouring over the letters that the people have sent him. the letter from the father struggling to pay his bills. from the woman dying of cancer whose insurance company won't cover her care. from the young people with so much promise, but so few opportunities. and i see the concern in his eyes and i hear the determination in his voice as he tells me you won't believe what these folks are going through, michelle, it's not right. we have to keep working to fix this. we have so much more to do. >> well, that was very amazing. the idea of the president of the united states living in like an area where you live in upstairs
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and coming out of his little study -- the little oval office as it's called. you have to read this letter, michelle. i mean, that's pretty real. >> well, because president obama is in public service for the right reasons, because he wants to make sure that in america, if you work hard and play by the rules that you can live the american dream and everyone can have an opportunity to be successful. we have to be policies like he's put in place, like 18 different tax breaks for small business owners and focusing the tax policy on making sure it's not just millionaires and billionaires that can be successful and you learn from the stories that you hear from people who write to you. that the struggles that they have been through and that informs your decision making as an elected official and it's informed president obama's decision making and that's why he goes to bed every single day. >> a lot of people would talk about how tough their granddaddy have had it, and democrats talk
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about how tough it was for paying their college loans. maybe it was a more recent difficult generation whereas republicans are more landed, they're further developed, more landed in the american dream, like romney. the last time when he could point to real difficulty is when his father came back from mexico. >> i don't put myself in a position of presuming how anyone's walk in life is. i know from dealing with ms in my sister, it's a serious issue and you don't want to presume how people walk their lives. i think both parties are trying to key in to the american people specifically the middle class, that we're prepared to fight for them. and that that's what this debate is about this november. then i think america will be the ultimate winner here. look, we can go back and forth
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about the policy differences that exist and the legitimate differences. but i think we have to overcome the initial hurdle that both campaigns have kind of fallen through the muck and mire of throwing mud at each other, posting lies right and left. let's clear all that out, and if both of the conventions are serious about having a conversation, then the two parties can have that conversation, the people will judge you in november. i think that kind of debate is what the american people are looking for. when i talked about the mojo before, the democrats realize they have a gap that they have to fill. and this is part of that effort. >> okay. looks to me like the democrats -- please. the democrats this week have a real challenge. i mean, this campaign came in a box, a box of antidemocratic rhetoric for months now. the republicans led by their candidate over and over say i'll send you the party of europe, of
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foreignness. we're going to be next greece. you're socialist. it seems to me what you did tonight you've shown you're clearly american born, your ideas come from the needs of real americans, they're not imported from a strange foreign place that romney kept talking about. that reminded everybody that it's different than they say it is. >> exactly. if you look at the convention last week, which basically they put their convention on a fact free diet because you heard speech after speech that basically mischaracterized and lied about president obama's record. it was an anti-obama convention instead of a pro-romney convention. what michael talked about, you would hope from being fortunate that that experience allows you to empathize with those who aren't, and it would make help you to make sure you went to bat for people who you needed to reach behind you and help lift up with you -- >> i think he's done that. i think you saw the stories that were shared there. i think you saw the stories that were shared by real people.
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>> but words are quite different than actions. >> -- from those who had tough times. look, you can talk about that the republican convention was. you know, fact free. left's get through this one first. this is only two hours old. >> good point. let's look at julian castro. he tied his family's story to that of his grandmother's who emigrated from mexico as a young orphan. let's watch. >> the american dream is not a sprint or even a marathon. but a relay. our families don't always cross the finish line in the span of one generation, but each generation passes on to the next the fruits of their labor. my grandmother never owned a house. she cleaned other people's houses so he could afford to rent her own, but she saw her daughter become the first in her family graduate from college. my mother fought hard for civil
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rights so instead of a mop i could hold this microphone. >> mayor castro got some major attack lines on romney. listen to this one about how romney just doesn't get it. >> mitt romney quite simply doesn't get it. a few months ago, he visited a university in ohio and gave students there a little entrepreneurial advice. start a business, he said. but how? borrow money if you have to from your parents, he told them. gee, why didn't i think of that? some people are lucky enough to borrow money from their parents. but that shouldn't determine whether you can pursue your dreams. not in america. not here, not in the 21st century. i don't think governor romney meant any harm. he's a good guy. i don't think he has any idea
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how good he's had it. >> pretty good line. >> it was more than just a line. it really shows the two paths and the two visions and the clear choice between re-electing president obama so that we have someone in the white house who understands that we've got to rebuild this economy from the middle class out and the bottom up and we can't have economic policy that only focuses on the millionaires and billionaires and ask the middle class to pay more in taxes so that hopefully the trickile down economics wil drop down some crumbs on us. >> are you saying re-elect president obama? >> i'm saying re-elect president obama. >> not a surprise answer. debbie wasserman schultz and michael steele. up next, we'll bring you more after this break. more about women, a lot about women. >> i have seen firsthand that
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being president doesn't change who you are. no, it reveals who you are. i have seen how the issues that come across the president's desk are always the hard ones. you know, the problems where no amount of data or numbers will get you to the right answer. [ male announcer ] if you stash tissues like a squirrel stashes nuts, you may be muddling through allergies. try zyrtec® liquid gels. nothing starts working faster than zyrtec® at relieving your allergy symptoms for 24 hours. zyrtec®. love the air.
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when it comes to the health of our families, barack refused to listen to all those folks who told him to leave health reform for another day, another president. he did it because he believes that here in america our
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grandparents should be able to afford their medicine. our kids should be able to see a doctor when they're sick. he believes that women are more than capable of making our own choices about our bodies and our health care. that's what my husband stands for. >> welcome back. michelle obama delivered an electrifying and heart felt speech tonight that brought the convention hall to the speech. and she gave a strong, opening performance for her husband who watched the speech from home, at the white house, with daughters sasha and malia. it was on full display tonight, in a series of speeches earlier by women. it was a sharp contrast to what we saw at last week's rnc. joining me are salon's joe walsh who is sheepish about these things. and howard fineman, my pal, who knows the truth. he's a political analyst and the
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great kristine quinn, a speaker who i believe is running for mayor of the great city of new york. so you get -- so the new kid on the block, and you're irish. >> thank you. thank you. >> you get to speak first here, kristine. chris, rather. let me -- i have never seen a night so strongly spoken for, spoken to, spoken about women. >> whether it was the first lady or mayor castro speaking so powerfully about his mom and his grandmother, it was a message tonight about the role that families, particularly ones led by women have played in the history of america and how we need to focus on them to move us even further forward. i think it was a moving and uplifting life for everyone. >> it was family values, the word, the phrase the republicans seem to own, like a captive. >> and it was every family value. i have to tell you to hear the first lady say that every proud american should get to go to the altar to marry who they love, it sent up a chill up my spine.
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>> you're married. >> just in may. the president announced his support of marriage equality, on the week of my wedding, the best present we could have ever gotten. >> i found it fascinating, you and i grew up both similarly. i think what a stunning thing is the democrats took it back. they said we have families. >> yes. >> and while our families struggle and we had to have student loans and it's our american experience. we're not from norway or from someone in this awful part of europe they keep worrying about, but from here. we grew up here, we're from here. >> we're from here. >> they're denying that rather stupidly and the democrats have been letting them get away with it all these months. >> no, they have grabbed it back. i mean, i thought the contrast in the first lady's speech and all the speeches was they have lived these hardships. when she talks about barack with his shoes too small and his rusted out car, she's not
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describing something that happened to someone else. with the romneys it -- it sounds like they're describing a story they're told to them. with michelle it's coming from the heart. so it was just -- she created such a vivid picture. you're right, julian castro created a vivid picture of his grandmother and mother that you were like, yeah, we are really proud of who we are. >> yeah, it's funny because without getting into anybody's life and you never know what's hard or tough, but ann romney said the toughest thing they ever went through was a rainy saturday at home with the kids. not the same as student loans. >> living on romney's stock. >> i think the whole burden of the republican convention, chris, was to try to prove that they, especially the romneys, understood the lives of middle class people. it was a proposition that they had to prove, whereas i thought
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what was effortless about tonight is these are unarguably middle class people. >> right. >> they don't need to prove that they are understand working america. they are working america and that was the message. >> the other problem the republicans at the convention had was beyond that, they don't have the policies to show that they understand. that's no substance there. >> the substance connected with the personal. >> look at first lady talked about tonight the president prioritizing tax cuts for small businesses, not prioritizing tax cuts just for upper income people. that puts meat on the bone of the emotion. >> lilly ledbetter in terms of equal pay and in terms of health care for kids up to 26. there are thing as they can talk about that are specific and mitt romney has a more generalized idea of the market. that's a reason why democrats --
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there's a reason that democrats have argued successfully the deals since the new deal. >> for years, women ever since reagan have been voting more democrat. i have always said it's not just about choice. >> no. >> it's about all the other issues that women have taken the lead on. taking care of the aging parents. >> right. >> knowing the teacher's names. knowing what shots the kids have had. knowing what's going on and what your insurance doesn't cover and does cover. and the guys usually, you know, he reminds me of mr. magoo for most of the stuff, me, too. you first. i think that was the appeal. that was across the board. >> men are changing so i want to give a shout-out to the men who are changing, but you're right. the gender gap has been about economic issues and women being more vulnerable and having to use government to some extent more than men. i thought lilly ledbetter was amazing. when she said the difference
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between that 23 cents, the pay gap that mitt romney is not going to miss that 23 cents but other people would. >> that's for women who work outside the home. this is fair statement, it doesn't mean anything to those who work inside the home. >> i don't know that she doesn't do nothing. because you have a sister, you have a daughter. you have a mother. >> or you may work outside the home some day. it also sends a message that government says you have the same worth as a man. that matters to every person. >> in terms of principle. howard -- >> no, go ahead. >> let's listen to the first lady, who was speaking beautifully most people thought about the american dream. >> if americans and blacksmiths could win independence from an empire, if immigrants could leave behind everything they knew for a better life on our shores, if women could be dragged for jail for seeking the
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vo vote, if a generation could define greatness for all time, if a young preacher could lift us to the mountaintop with his dream and if proud americans can boldly stand at the altar with who they love, then surely -- surely we can give everyone in this country a fair chance at that great american dream. >> well, that wasn't a spouse's speech. that was a speech. that was a speech by any standard. this isn't my husband is great, i'm great. >> first of all, she's gotten better and better as a speaker. that's the best speech i have seen her give. best speech i have ever seen a first lady give at a convention. that was a campaign speech. to me politically what that was about tonight is trying to remind president obama's original supporters of why they liked him, why they trusted him. why they were excited about him.
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because as i reported earlier tonight, in some states, like in virginia, you're not seeing the yard signs that you saw four years ago. >> would you put her on the road in virginia? >> every week, every day? >> everywhere. they're doubling down on women as supporters. the republicans tried to go after the female vote in tampa. >> when you have to say i love women -- >> frankly, i think kathleen sebelius gave a good speech tonight. i'm glad surrogates are coming out. i'm saying where are the surrogates? you have to get out and get this guy re-elected. >> wait until super surrogate bill clinton show up. >> all the people should be out there campaigning. >> the message i just heard from the first lady is that america is about everybody. you don't hear that in tampa. >> please come back when we're in new york, okay? you work there, right? >> i do. >> kristine quinn, the speaker of the house, the speaker of the
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council in new york. and when we come back, i'm speaking english -- when we back, you're watching msnbc's live coverage at the democratic convention. >> no matter where you come from, the path is always forward.
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our troops in iraq have finally come home, so america can do some nation building here at home. >> one word? >> best speech, michelle obama. one word, heart. >> best speech tonight? >> michelle obama. that was powerful and moving. >> best speech tonight? >> the first lady hands down. inspirati inspirational. >> best speech? >> the first lady. >> michelle obama without a doubt. it was the most heart warming speech all night. >> best speech? >> michelle obama, washington, d.c. >> what's -- why was it the best speech? >> just awesome. because she's woman power. >> woman power. >> governor strickland. hard line. >> mayor castro. he's going to go far. >> you said rahm emanuel? >> rahm emanuel.
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awesome. >> are you looking for patronage. >> mayor castro. truly inspiring. >> michelle obama was great. so she loves women for real. i mean, she didn't have to do it by script. >> best speech? >> michelle obama all the way. all the way. >> castro, duval patrick, the future of the democratic party. >> i think you're right. they'll duke it out some day. >> here i am, i'm voting for obama, sir. >> michelle obama, duval patrick. >> michelle obama. she spoke straight from the heart. >> the mayor of san antonio. but props -- props to first lady. >> michelle obama. uplifting. >> michelle. awesome first lady. >> i think we have a winner here. >> great speech. >> okay, guys, here it is. michelle obama beats out the mayor of san antonio in a close race. be right back.
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>> we all understand that freedom isn't free. what romney and ryan don't understand is that neither is opportunity. [ heart beating, monitor beeping ] woman: what do you mean, homeowners insurance doesn't cover floods? [ heart rate increases ] man: a few inches of water caused all this? [ heart rate increases ] woman #2: but i don't even live near the water. what you don't know about flood insurance may shock you --
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my feet and exactly where i needed more support. i had tired, achy feet. until i got my number. my dr. scholl's custom fit orthotics number. now i'm a believer. you'll be a believer, too. learn where to find your number at drscholls.com. let's do tell everyone we meet that when the american dream is on the line we want barack obama in charge.
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>> welcome back. democrats launch their big program tonight, what i saw was barack obama surrogates stepping up. with me is a contributor to the kudlow report and msnbc reporter. in the past, duval patrick came out tonight with a barn burner, a forceful sales pitch for president obama's re-election. let's watch. >> it's time for democrats to grow a backbone and stand up for what we believe. this is the president who delivered the security of affordable health care to every single american in every corner of this country after 90 years of trying. this is the president who brought osama bin laden to justice, who ended the war in
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iraq and is ending the war in afghanistan. this is the president who ended don't ask/don't tell so that love of country, not love of another determines fitness for service. who made equal pay for equal work the law of the land. this is the president who saved the american auto industry from extincti extinction, the american financial industry from destruction and who added 4.5 million private sector jobs in the last 2 1/2 years. more than in george bush's eight years in office. >> what is so hard about doing that and why is it taking until september 4th, two months before the election for somebody to come out and say what was there to be said? >> i wanted to know who this guy is. he should run for office, maybe
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challenge the incumbent in massachusetts. he sounded like an insurgent democrat. if you read his prepared remarks, the democrats need to stiffen their spine, grow a spine. he got into the moment. went even further than his own speech did. i think he made a very compelling case. he expanded on david axelrod's favorite line. barack obama he saved gm and he killed osama bin laden. >> this is about salesmanship. this administration has driven me crazy. the cabinet acts like they can't be political. none of them speak out for the president. the fellow democrats in the united states senate, none of them speak out for them. the governors, nothing. finally tonight, they came out and acted like they knew how to do it all alone. deval patrick was great tonight. rahm emanuel was great tonight. the mayor of san antonio was great. are they going to hit the road now and stop putting plouffe on
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television, stop putting axelrod, the paid staffers, start putting principal, people that get elected to office on television. they're the people you want to see on "meet the press," not the staff. i'm -- that's my point and my question. why do they put on the staffers on, instead of the principals on who knows how to give a speech? >> when i was been reporting the campaign, it's like you're reporting on the talking points and you see the obama campaign became a campaign who's enthusiastic about barack obama. they didn't back away from obama care and they have been dancing around it the whole time. >> why did michelle obama give a speech tonight? >> listen, you went out to the crowd, they love michelle obama and i know that's the base. >> i would put her out. i would give her air force one, send her around the country starting now. >> there are three things that were done tonight.
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you had people go out there and speak about the president and in forceful and personal terms which is what she did. the people go out and they made a forceful case about -- against mitt romney. you saw that again and again. >> but that's part of it. slash and burn, i disagree. >> the third thing is the choice, the choice, the choice. this is an election, not just a referendum on the election. >> let's look at a real human experience. here's stacey lihn, a mother of a child, a toddler daughter with heart condition. described how obama care has helped her family and a romney presidency would em peril her child's chances down the road. this is heart felt. >> so many moms with sick children, i shed so many tears and i can breathe easier knowing we have the net below us to catch us if we fall or if god
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forbid zoe needs a heart transplant. obama care provides my family security and relief. but we're also scared. governor romney repealing health care reform is something we worry about literally every single day. zoe's third open heart surgery will happen either next year or the year after. if mitt romney becomes president and obama care is repealed, there's a good chance she'll hit her lifetime cap. there's no way we could afford to pay for all the care she needs to survive. when you have a sick child, it's always in the back of your mind and sometimes in the front of your mind. on top of that, worrying that people would let an insurance company take away her health care just because of politics -- >> what do you make of that? >> look, it's a compelling human
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interest story, but i think when the democrats run hard on obama care, that really reminds a lot of people about why they dislike obama care. there are compelling human interest stories of people who got coverage because of the care and people look at the cost of the plan, i think a republicans were cheering that they were talking about this so much. >> listen, obama care is essential to first term of this president. he can't run away from it. he can't duck and hide because republicans will attack no matter what he does. so putting up people like that, making ads like that, in fact, you could say the same thing about romney care. i know people have the same stories to tell because of romney care. you've got to play this strong. they started tonight. and i expect they'll do it again and again with women, with mothers talking about these things and in a heart felt way. michelle talking about and testimonials like that. it may not win but you can fight
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back to a draw and not make obama care into the demon that republicans have. >> we already have medicaid for those below the poverty line. there's a person who's hit with a catastrophic health condition, it can hit anyone, it's not a poverty program but a health insurance program against this kind of cost. anyway, don't you think it's bet efor the democrats to talk about it in human terms like this wonderful woman has had, than to let the republicans keep calling it european socialism and all that stuff? >> anecdotal politics can take you so far. >> do you think it's european socialism? is there something that's imported from somewhere else? >> i think it's something that happens in europe. >> it's a part of massachusetts. come on. >> universal health care is a -- >> i think patrick said it's 90 years promised because it was teddy roosevelt who started promising. was he a european? is the heritage foundation a communist front?
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>> look, mitt romney is making the argument -- >> you guys play this over and over again. obama no matter what he does for this country is some kind of foreigner from africa or europe. you're always doing it. you always do it. it's always some other. he's some other. anyway -- okay. you guys -- by the way, want to read back the speeches to you, that genius you have running for president, all he talks about is this guy is european. anyway, thank you, david corn and thank you robert costa for trying. up next, back with a few hollywood stars who made their way to charlotte. thank you. you're watching msnbc's live coverage of the democratic convention. >> i have worked on a lot of fun movies, but my favorite job was having a boss who gave the order to take out bin laden and who's cool with all of us getting guy married. so thank you invisible man in the chair for that.
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and for giving my friends access to affordable health insurance and doubling funding for the pell grants. ♪ ♪ multi-policy discount... paperless discount... paid in full discount... [yawning] homeowner's discount... safe driver discount... unicorn discount. unicorn wearing a sombrero. olé... countless discounts -- now, that's progressive. call or click today.
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three weeks ago my buddy's
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boyfriend was able to watch him from marine corps training that's change. and we can't turn back now. >> that was actor kal penn who led some star power to the first night, at the democratic national convention here in charlotte. i'm joined by three members of the creative coalition who are here to advocate for funding for the arts one thing that governor romney will not do, he'll cut it. actor patricia arquette, john leguizamo and the chief executive officer -- i love that power -- of the creative coalition. first of all, what did you make of tonight's rollout by the democrats, the choreographer, the music, the rhetoric, what did you make of it? >> it's very exciting. i have never been to a convention before. it was very exciting to be here. >> this is one of the best nights.
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i have been to about 50 of them. i'll be -- >> it was electrifying. >> since 1960, i have been going to these things. this is the best opening night i have seen. you sir? >> i loved tonight. i was so moved. everything they said, i think they moved it forward, answered questions pending in the air. i was moved to tears many, many times. >> yeah, i thought that the mayor of san antonio was fabulous. >> incredible. he's our future -- >> i think he and deval patrick, look out for the gunfight down the road. >> yeah. amazing. and ledbetter. >> everyone liked that too. >> i laughed, i cried. it was the best. >> i laughed, i cried, it was the movie of the year. i thought what was surprising that michelle could give a barn burner of a political speech. this isn't my husband is great, this was a call to arms. >> it was great and i watched her and i thought of four years ago. it's wonderful to see how
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michelle has evolved. she was great four years ago and today she moved everyone in that -- >> let's talk about movement and motive. here's motive for you. "fortune" magazine, that's of course about rich republicans asked mitt romney last month where he'd start budget cuts. these are his words what he said, quote, first there are programs i would eliminate. obama care being one of them, but also various subsidy programs. the amtrak subsidy, the pbs subsidy, the subsidy for the national endowment for the arts. the national endowment for the humanities. i just think they have to stand on their own rather than receiving money borrowed from other countries as our government does on their behalf. what a no nothing. what -- he wants to cut all spending on pbs, forget all the good shows, forget that, and forget the humanities and the arts. >> this is one of the stupidest
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things i have ever heard of, you do not cut programs that bring your country money. if you look at the ipad, it was only created to download music. music that was being stolen on the internet, generated over a billion dollars of taxable income. the number two export in the united states of america is the arts and entertainment. you do not do that. we only spent $146 million on the arts spending. agriculture and underneath the arts and entertainment is military. >> military equipment and stuff. >> but all the movies in the world, all that stuff -- >> besides that, we subsidy those with billions of dollars so the arts -- you know, it's in every -- everything you look at. you go to buy a t-shirt. you don't, let me buy that ugly t-shirt, let me buy the one that looks like the other t-shirt. everything you purchase as a consumer nation, you purchase because an artist made that, an
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artist decided what to make it look like. if somebody made a website for me, i don't look at let me pick the cheapest, ugliest one. >> you made your point. why would a candidate throw that on a very short list of cuts? in other words, except for amtrak which is the way we get up and down the east coast, he's only focusing on the arts. i want you to explain why a politician would do that. >> because the republicans are always trying to say that hollywood is backing the democrats. >> or they're pornographic or whatever. >> right. >> then you have clint eastwood put that to bed because he said a lot of republicans who are -- >> look at the rnc, they rolled out the artist. right? what's clint eastwood? he's an actor and artist. >> robin, i want to get to the real toxicity of this. why would a guy running for president of the united states when asked what he'd cut, why
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would he just focus on culture? >> i think that's great lesson on why our country is failing in mathemat mathematics. for every dollar spent, you bring $7 back. it sounds like a good bet to me. >> opposing education and art and not believing there's climate change and not being clear with everything we have learned in science, stem cell and that. could it be he doesn't really believe in science? >> when did arts become a political issue? that's what's crazy. that's insane. >> when we salute our flag, we sing a song. you know, when winston churchill was told during the war that they were going to need to cut the funding for the arts, he said then what are we fighting for? this is our cultural identity. this is what makes our lives worth living. this is who we are as a people. >> you know what, it's a great economic development for resources. >> thank you for coming out tonight, late at night. it's 1:00 on the east coast time. thank you patricia arquette and
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john leguizamo and thank you robin bronc who put this all together. my son thomas is one of you now, he's an actor on "newsroom." that's it for our coverage at the democratic national convention in charlotte tonight. i'll be back tomorrow at 5:00 eastern for "hardball." and then at 7:00 full coverage of the second night at the convention. the big speech by elvis, bubba, big bill, bill clinton tomorrow night. you can't beat that. until then, good night from charlotte. ♪
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Democratic National Convention
MSNBC September 4, 2012 10:00pm-1:00am PDT

Series/Special. (2012) The 2012 Democratic National Convention from Charlotte, N.C. (CC) (Stereo)

program was likely cut short due to a recording issue

TOPIC FREQUENCY America 34, Us 25, Julian Castro 22, Romney 21, Barack Obama 20, Michelle 16, Msnbc 15, Charlotte 14, Virginia 12, Rachel 11, San Antonio 10, Europe 10, New York 10, Ted Strickland 10, Ann Romney 8, Chris Matthews 8, Chuck Todd 7, Michael Steele 7, Michelle Obama 6, Ohio 6
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